Dolly Parton’s ‘Coat of Many Colors’: The Song’s Creation and Large Impact

by Atlanta Northcutt
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Country music legend Dolly Parton will be premiering the story of her famous song ‘Coat of Many Colors‘ as a TV movie.

The song has become legendary, just like its creator, Dolly Parton. The true story describing an unforgettable moment in Dolly’s life has touched many and won the hearts of listeners.

Dolly Parton and her ‘Coat of Many Colors’

“People often ask me, of all of the thousands of songs I’ve written in my lifetime if I have a favorite. I do have a personal favorite, and it is ‘Coat of Many Colors’. To me, it’s more than a song,” says Dolly. “It’s an attitude. It’s a philosophy. It speaks about family. It’s anti-bullying. It just covers so many things.”

The Story Behind the Beloved Song

Parton grew up in a poor household in rural Tennessee. Since Dolly grew up wearing handmade clothes, she decided to write the song which has previously been turned into a book and inspired a 2015 TV movie.

“As a matter of fact, one of the things I’m proudest of is the little book that we had out. They illustrated it and told the story,” adds Parton. “They use that, actually, in schools now as an anti-bullying song. It lets people know that we’re supposed to love one another for who and what we are, and to celebrate our differences because we shouldn’t all be the same.”

The song, which gives a glimpse into a special moment in Dolly’s childhood, impacts those who grew up with rags instead of riches and shows how a simple act of love and care can be the best gift of all.

“Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness”
And I just couldn’t wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss

My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly”

The story has done quite a bit of good. “It’s been written into a school book to teach children that it’s all right to be different,” Parton writes in Songteller. “So that little song is like a world of things. It teaches about bullying, about love, about acceptance, about good parents.”

The new TV movie of Dolly’s “Coat of Many Colors” stars Alyvia Alyn Lind and Jennifer Nettles and premieres on NBC at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 26.

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