Dolly Parton Sets ‘World on Fire’ With Debut of Stirring Rock Anthem at ACM Awards

Dolly Parton has been the queen of country music for most of our lives. She famously broke into the zeitgeist in the early 70s, and the now 77-year-old star shows no sign of slowing down. While country music has changed over the years, Dolly has remained popular and universally loved.

When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame came calling, Dolly, who is decidedly not rock and roll, accepted the induction, but being true to herself, insisted on doing a rock record to justify the honor. Now, more than a year later, she has debuted her first song called ‘World on Fire”. It is a stirring, political call for common sense and kindness in a world devoid of both. It also bangs, which it better if she is going to call it a rock song.

At the Academy of Country Music Award show this week, Dolly performed the song live. It was a spectacle. Check this out.

Parton, 77, is releasing her first-ever rock album in November with 30 tracks featuring many legends from the genre. She had teased the planning of a rock album when she was nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame early last year.

The 30 tracks appear to be an eclectic mix of original and cover songs featuring a wide variety of artists from legendary rock musicians to pop and R&B singers and prominent songwriters.

Dolly has never been one to dabble in politics or political songs, preferring instead to write lyrics about love, loss, and everyday life. Her foray into politics is a call to arms for middle-of-the-road politics and a return to grace and kindness. Check out some of the lyrics:

“Liar, liar, the world’s on fire
What you gonna do when it all burns down?
Fire, fire, burnin’ higher
Still got time to turn it all around…”

The song is a slow burn of guitars, foot stomping, and the backup choir, reminiscent somewhat of the Queen anthem “We Will Rock You.” However, the subject matter is much more relevant and important, considering our fractured nation. Dolly had this to say about her songwriting process:

“This song I felt very inspired to write,” Dolly states on her official website regarding the single. “I think it speaks about everything and to everyone this day and time. I hope it is something that will touch you and maybe touch enough people to want to make a change for the better.”

The 30-track album will be a mix of covers and new material and will feature numerous guest collaborators, including Paul McCartney, Sting, and Pat Benatar. It is set for global release on November 17th. Knoxville, Tennessee’s WATE had this to say about the new single:

Now, in her new single she sings about the politics that seem to be contributing to the fiery world, “…greedy politicians, present and past / they wouldn’t know the truth if it bit ’em in the…”

Y’all know what noun could rhyme with “past.”

The rock anthem goes on to touch on “In God We Trust” and marches in the streets, violence, and how the saving grace, Parton croons, could be “healing the hurt” with kindness, love, friendship, and ending the hatred.

Parton, perhaps as prophetic as in previous songs and chart-topping hits about love, womanhood and hard times, wants us to be saved – if we’re able to save ourselves as a society from burning it all down.

Perhaps someone as universally loved as Dolly Parton can save us from ourselves. Unlikely, but she will certainly entertain the hell out of us trying.



Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.

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