Dolly Parton famously steers clear of politics — almost as much as she eschews frumpy frocks — but the country legend’s latest track is an explicit celebration of women’s rights.
Parton’s muse for her new song was the 19th Amendment (that would be women’s suffrage, for those of you who skipped history class). Parton sings of the women who marched to bring it about and how women have fought for their rights “since the very beginning of time.”
The country music legend has long espoused a sort of folksy feminism (see “9 to 5”), so of course it’s no dry historical exegesis. A sample lyric? “They said a woman’s place/ Was staying in her hut/Washin’, cookin’ cleanin’/Wipin’ babies butts./ They said she’d never see the day/We’d equal up to them/But here we are; we’ve come so far/I guess we sure showed them.”
“A Woman’s Right” is one of 27 songs by different artists, each inspired by a Constitutional amendment, on an album set to be released Tuesday that was produced by the team behind WNYC Studio’s “More Perfect” podcast — a gleefully geeked-out spinoff of Radiolab that looks at the Supreme Court and the country’s foundational documents.
You can hear an exclusive preview of Parton’s song here:
“27: The Most Perfect Album” also features songs by They Might Be Giants, Torres and Devendra Banhart. It drops the same day “More Perfect” debuts its third season, which will pair the songs with discussion of the amendments that inspired them, its creators said.
Parton said she was happy to participate in the project. “Being lucky enough to be a successful woman in business, I wanted to exercise my right to write about the 19th Amendment to praise and uplift women,” Parton said in a statement. “Of course, I did a fun take on my song ‘A Woman’s Right.’”