Better Get To Livin'

Album: Backwoods Barbie (2007)
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Songfacts®:

  • Dolly Parton wrote this inspirational country-pop tune with Kent Wells, her co-producer and band manager. Despite facing serious issues throughout her life, including an impoverished childhood, infertility, depression, and endless tabloid rumors, Dolly has always exhibited a positive attitude and is known for her bubbly personality. Wells suggested she write a song for curiosity-seekers about her secret to happiness. The result was this lead single from Backwoods Barbie, where she outlines her joy method, singing:

    You better get to livin', givin'
    A little more thought about bein' a little more willin'
    To make a better way
    Don't sweat the small stuff, keep your chin up
    Just hang tough and if it gets too rough
    Fall on your knees and pray
    And do that every day
  • Mostly, Dolly wanted people to know that they're not alone in their struggles. She explained in a press release: "I think life has always been a pressure cooker. People react to whatever pressures they're under at the time according to their tolerance level and their mental attitude. Certainly with so much attention today on being skinny and beautiful, rich and famous, equal pay for equal work, getting ahead, raising kids, holding down a job, getting older, etc., well I think this song says some things to let people know they're not the only ones in that fix. And this song offers some advice for a way out."
  • This features backing vocals from gospel singers Sonya Isaacs and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman.
  • This was her highest-charting single from the album, peaking at #48 on the Country chart.
  • Dolly spent the better part of a decade outside the realm of mainstream country, releasing a trilogy of acclaimed bluegrass albums and a pair of covers albums, until she finally issued the commercial-oriented Backwoods Barbie. It peaked at #17 on the albums chart, making it her highest-charting album on the tally since Slow Dancing With The Moon went to #16 in 1993. It also peaked at #2 on the Country Albums chart.
  • In the music video, directed by Steven Lippman ("Jesus & Gravity"), Dolly is a carnival performer who uplifts an audience of depressed women with her advice via the positive tune. Amy Sedaris also stars as the brash carnival barker. The clip was filmed on location at a farm in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

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