As our country covers theme week(of which I was one of the only participants) draws to a close, I will take the opportunity to add one more to the fire. When I first heard that Dolly Parton had performed a cover of Led Zeppelin’s most recognized monster hit, “Stairway to Heaven”, my reaction was, to quote the song itself, “The forests will echo with laughter.” That means I laughed, because it sounded so ridiculous. I made it a point to seek out this song so that I could mercilessly mock it to death in my own mind.
I should have known better than to question the genius of Ms. Parton. While her fun-loving persona and considerable physical assets have become the most recognizable aspects of her persona, the woman responsible for such giant smash hits as “Jolene”, “9 to 5”, and “I Will Always Love You”, among countless others, knows her way around a song. I was pleasantly surprised by Dolly’s straightforward take on the song, and her voice sounds angelic. The song almost foreshadows Robert Plant’s later collaboration with country music’s other crystal clear vocalist, Alison Krauss. I tip my hat to you, Dolly.