This one’s a masterpiece. Among Dolly’s southern gothic classics from the early days, it’s rivaled only by “Down From Dover.”
It’s simple enough. Mountain boy loves mountain girl. Mountain girl longs for the city life. Mountain girl ends up at a New Orleans brothel, comparing the men who knock on her door to the boy who loved her long ago.
Like all of Parton’s best work, it radiates humanity, giving dignity to a woman who could easily be written off as depraved. It isn’t cautionary tale so much as caution not to judge others too quickly.
When people argue that Parton’s the finest songwriter in country music history, it’s because of songs like this.
Written by Dolly Parton
Listen: My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy