Full disclosure, I love a good love song. But every now and then, singers or their writers just get it all wrong. Love is a two-way-street, so please – do not be the first in line, in hopes that when he changes his mind, he can take a chance on you. You’re better than that.
One of my favourites though, when it comes to songs with a protagonist who is utterly lacking self-worth, is hands down “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. Why, you ask? I’ll show you…
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I’m begging of you please don’t take my man
DOLLY! I am begging of YOU! If he makes you feel like you need to beg Jolene not to take him, you are with the wrong man!! It’s not about Jolene, this is about you and your man.
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don’t take him just because you can
Again, Dolly, why can she? Why do you think she can just walk up to your man and take him? Something is not right here.
Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green
Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
OK, fine, that part is poetic and Jolene does sound like she’s quite pretty.
And I cannot compete with you, Jolene
No, Dolly, just NO! Never mind that I am sure you could compete with her, but why do you feel like you have to in the first place? Does your man love you – yes or no? Can a few auburn locks be so impressive that he would just walk away from his amazing better half? If he makes you feel like you’re in competition with every pretty woman around you, he is a bad choice.
He talks about you in his sleep
There’s nothing I can do to keep
From crying when he calls your name, Jolene
AHA! Now, we’re getting closer. Just when she has the listener wonder how paranoid and insecure one can be, she’s finally telling us that she is not pulling these suspicions out of thin air. He talks about Jolene is his sleep, Dolly? Darn right, you can’t keep from crying. That is messed up. Have you ever asked him about that? Not something that would go unaddressed where I come from…
And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man
But you don’t know what he means to me, Jolene
Dear Dolly, you are way too understanding. How can you say that? Let me handle this one for you: Jolene, you don’t take a man that is already taken. It’s as simple as that. So take that smile that is like a breath of spring and smile it at someone else. I should not have to point this out to you, Jolene. When they teach you to share in Kindergarten, that does not apply to significant others. Got it?
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene (…)
You could have your choice of men
But I could never love again
He’s the only one for me, Jolene
There she loses me. I get it, this whole thing sucks. Here you are, all in love and here goes your man, talking about Jolene in his sleep but come on, Dolly? He’s the ONLY one? You could NEVER love again? There are plenty of fish in the sea, and there are seven seas, my friend.
I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Jolene
Wrong again. Your happiness depends on YOU and what YOU decide to do, Dolly. This one’s not on Jolene.
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene (…)
On this note, I hope that you felt loved this Valentine’s Day, this February and that you do every day – whether it’s by a partner, a child, a parent, a friend, or your pet rabbit. You’re worth it. You’re not in competition with Jolene or anyone and if he doesn’t make you happy, please, please walk away. Life is short.