Monday, April 24, 2006

'Me and Little Andy": a tragedy by Dolly Parton

In 2002, Dolly Parton briefly seemed to be everywhere and be appreciated, but only in the ironic sense.

My friend, Jason, though is a real fan. At her show at the 9:30 Club in D.C., he screamed out for her to play "Me and Little Andy." He says she not only declined to play it, but seemed surprised that someone would ask for it. (Why, Dolly? Why? It is after all on The Essential Dolly Parton, Volume 2)

He told me this after he played me the song for the first time. We were sitting in some kind of SUV with Texas plates.

In "Me and Little Andy," a girl and her puppy show up on a doorstep late at night. They need a place to stay. The girl has been physically abused. Dolly starts singing in a little-girl voice:

Ain’t ya got no gingerbread
Ain’t ya got no candy
Ain’t ya got an extra bed for me and little andy
Patty cake and bakersman
My mommy ran away again
And we was all alone and didn’t know what else to do
I wonder if you’ll let us stay with you

Giddy up trotty horse, going to the mill
Can we stay all night
If you don’t love us no one will
I promise we won’t cry
London bridge is fallin’ down
My daddy’s drunk again in town
And we was all alone and didn’t what we could do
I wonder if you’ll let us stay with you
She takes the girl and her puppy in. But that night as they sleep (SPOILER ALERT), the both die.

And the song ends hauntingly:

Ain’t ya got no gingerbread
Ain’t ya got no candy
Ain’t ya got an extra bed for me and little (whispers) andy
It's probably weird that after listening to that song, I had it in my head for the rest of the day.

4 comments:

Maliavale said...

Ha! Love the spoiler alert and the whisper. Well-told, my friend, well-told.

Airhen said...

I can't take credit for the "whispers." It's in the lyrics. I can't even take credit for thinking up the post idea, as you may know, Malia.

Maliavale said...

Well, I'm willing to give you credit for something. What can I give you credit for? Tell me, Airhen!

Airhen said...

"Spoiler alert" is all mine.