Evening Shade

Album: My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy (1969)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • In this track from her fourth solo album, Dolly Parton imagines herself as a troubled child living at a juvenile corrections facility called Evening Shade, where cruel Mrs. Bailey reigns with an iron fist. When a little girl is nearly whipped to death for peeing her bed, the kids hatch a deadly revenge scheme. "We all kind of get together and rebel against the whole system. We burn the whole place down: 'Evening Shade was burning, just like the Hell it was,'" Dolly explained in her 2020 book, Songteller. "Now I'm not advocating violence of any kind. It's just a song. And I can get away with that in a song."
  • Evening Shade is also the name of a town in Arkansas, which was the setting for a '90s sitcom of the same name.
  • In order to connect with the stories she tells, Dolly often sings from the perspective of the characters in her songs; she's been a child, a prostitute ("My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy"), a gold digger ("I'll Oil Wells Love You"), a drifter ("Gypsy, Joe And Me"), and an alcoholic ("Wino"), among other roles. She explained in Songteller: "One of the reasons I love being a songwriter is because I become all of these characters I write about. It satisfies my restless soul and keeps me out of trouble. Because I can just be whatever I want to be."
  • Bob Ferguson produced all of Dolly's RCA albums until the mid-'70s, including her duet albums with Porter Wagoner (who was also an uncredited producer on the albums, including her solo output). Also a songwriter, Ferguson penned the country classics "The Carroll County Accident" and "Wings Of A Dove."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney Princesses

Part of Their World: The Stories and Songs of 13 Disney PrincessesSong Writing

From "Some Day My Prince Will Come" to "Let It Go" - how Disney princess songs (and the women who sing them) have evolved.

Francesca Battistelli

Francesca BattistelliSongwriter Interviews

The 2011 Artist of the Year at the Dove Awards isn't your typical gospel diva, and she thinks that's a good thing.

Bible Lyrics

Bible LyricsMusic Quiz

Rockers, rappers and pop stars have been known to quote the Bible in their songs. See if you match the artist to the biblical lyric.

Jon Anderson of Yes

Jon Anderson of YesSongwriter Interviews

From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon Anderson talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.

Incongruent Opening Acts

Incongruent Opening ActsSong Writing

Here's what happens when an opening act is really out of place with the headliner, like when Beastie Boys opened for Madonna.

Jethro Tull

Jethro TullFact or Fiction

Stage urinals, flute devices, and the real Aqualung in this Fact or Fiction.