Shattered Image

Album: All I Can Do (1976)
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Songfacts®:

  • Dolly Parton has been the subject of many tabloid rumors over the years. The gossip rags have reported her alleged affairs with Hollywood hunks, claimed she's carried on a lesbian romance with her childhood friend, and insisted her body is covered in hidden tattoos. They've even speculated if her publicity-shy husband, Carl Dean, is actually real.

    Back when she first recorded "Shattered Image" for her 17th solo album, All I Can Do, the singer was hurt by the figurative stone-throwing and was worried the stories would damage her reputation. To address her feelings, she did what she does best: She wrote a song. Here's her favorite verse:

    If you live in a glass house, don't throw stones.
    Don't shatter my image 'til you look at your own.
    Look at your reflection in your house of glass.
    Don't open my closet if your own's full of trash.
    Stay out of my closet if your own's full of trash
  • She shared her opinion of tabloids in her 2020 book, Songteller: "There are a lot of stories about me in the tabloids. I always say that they are based on some thread of truth, but usually it's so frayed by the time they get done with it, you don't hardly even recognize it. I don't mind what they say about me, as much as I do when it hurts other people I know. I hate that. I can handle it, myself. But I hate it when they drag other people into it. I love the tabloids. I read them all. They're fun to read. I believe everything they write about everybody. Except me!"
  • This was released as a single in the UK but it didn't chart.
  • Dolly re-recorded this for her 2002 album, Halos & Horns. She told CDNow why she decided to revisit the tune: "It wasn't just for me, but it's the way other people feel. I thought it was a very commercial idea. But it's not just about stars and the tabloids, it's about your next-door neighbor. It's like everybody's always throwing rocks at you, living in their own glass houses."

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