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

Best Band Logos

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?

Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde of The PretendersSongwriter Interviews

The rock revolutionist on songwriting, quitting smoking, and what she thinks of Rush Limbaugh using her song.

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music Scene

Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt On How To Create A Music SceneSong Writing

With $50 and a glue stick, Bruce Pavitt created Sub Pop, a fanzine-turned-label that gave the world Nirvana and grunge. He explains how motivated individuals can shift culture.

Cy Curnin of The Fixx

Cy Curnin of The FixxSongwriter Interviews

The man who brought us "Red Skies" and "Saved By Zero" is now an organic farmer in France.

Edwin McCain

Edwin McCainSongwriter Interviews

"I'll Be" was what Edwin called his "Hail Mary" song. He says it proves "intention of the songwriter is 180 degrees from potential interpretation by an audience."