Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dolly Parton's Jolene

So, we were looking for a particular version of Dolly Parton's song Jolene. We then stumbled upon 40+ recorded versions of the song.

While that, in and of itself is not particularly noteworthy - surely there are other songs that have been recorded countless times. However, there was one facet of this we did find particularly remarkable.

There are versions of Jolene recorded in genres ranging from punk to bluegrass, from dance to jazz, from rock to Persian. There have been artists as diverse as The White Stripes and Olivia Newton-John take a stab at the song.

Some versions were really very good, others? Well, let's just say that it probably wasn't thought through very well, just to be kind.\

The interesting part of all of this is despite the different musical styles, different instrumentation, different arrangements, one thing remained very consistent - the melody. While artists had no qualms taking liberties with everything else, the melody seems to be untouchable.

Maybe some things are just too iconic to be altered.

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