‘Just the Way I Am’ – Poetic selections on ‘reasons to live, reasons to love and reasons to smile’ from the songs of Dolly Parton.
“Just the Way I Am” is a collection of poetry comprised of song lyrics from some of her most treasured works. It was published by Blue Mountain Arts in 1979. In the introduction Dolly writes,
“My songs are like children, I conceive a thought, I carry it in my mind for a time, and then labor to give it birth. Hope you like my kids.”
Several of the poems have recognizable titles taken from both song titles and song lyrics. Within the first section, “Reasons to Love” the reader can find “Love is like a butterfly,” “Jolene” and “Back through the years.” Additionally, “Two doors down” and “Together you and I” can be found in “Reasons to Smile.”
Her songwriting is, arguably, the heart of Dolly’s artistry and often her most beloved works were born out of real-life experiences. She has a brave honesty in her music that fans embrace. This book provides yet another avenue to experience the depth and emotion of her words.
Song lyrics from “Little Bird” found on the album “In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)” can be found within the lines of this untitled poem.
“Beauty is a rare perfume, precious,
yet doesn’t last long,
and youth is but a playful breeze
that blows our way once
and moves on.
Love is a hidden treasure
and some never find where it lies,
and memory is a little bird
that flies through life
and never dies.”
Part of “Together You and I” first recorded by Dolly and Porter Wagoner can be found in this short poem.
“My love for you
is deeper than the depth of any ocean,
and as faithful as the stars
that grace the night
as constant as the sun
in its journey
through the heavens…
we will always be together,
you and I.”
The book concludes with a special section, “About the Author” followed by acknowledgments.
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- National Conference of State Legislatures 2019 Legislative Summit - August 8, 2019