Recommendation VII: Dolly Parton

First of all, let me send out my condolences to all the people who have been affected by and/or lost a loved one in today’s tragedy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. I’m in college right now and just reading about it, just makes me shocked and horrified. I still cannot believe how terrible this world can be at times and I hate when I am reminded of it like this. I know that deaths and murders happen everyday all across the world, but it’s not something I really think about. I had to make a new post today, and comment about it, and choose an appropriate song to fit the circumstances, but it can apply to lots of things in this world. Music can be a great way to help heal oneself from a loss and combining that with God’s assistance through prayer, your pain can begin to go away.

Having said that, my seventh recommendation is: Dolly Parton’s “Hello God” from her 2002 Halos & Horns album. I believe that this song is one of best songs ever written. I first heard it years ago when she sang it at the CMA’s or ACM’s one year (probably 2002). I remember that night pretty well too. The power had gone out where we lived, and I needed to get my homework done, so my mom drove me to the closet library So I could work on it. Our local radio station was airing the award show, and since the TV wasn’t working and I really wanted to see it, I just did my work in the car in the parking lot with my mom right by me, listening to the audio broadcast of the show. I remember hearing Dolly’s performance and I was really moved by the power of the lyrics, her vocals, and her emotion. Dolly Parton basically said what it seems like everyone in the world must be thinking (with the exception of some people), especially in this post-911 world where we question a lot of things that are happening then before (at least, I see it that way).

In the song, the production begins as a simple bluegrass/folk-sounding slow song and very quickly, Dolly starts off by asking God questions that confuse us all, like the first line: ” Hello God, are you out there? Can you hear me, are you listenin’ any more? “. I am a Christian and I believe in God, but I have thought in the past, like everybody has probably wondered, about God’s existence and about how He could allow horrible things to happen sometimes, and many other thoughts, and it can be frustrating. Throughout the song, Dolly asks more complex questions like the above and it soon turns into a begging and pleading for God’s love and comfort and how we need His help. I believe she wrote this after 911. That was one of the worst days of my life because I felt so incredibly bad for everybody who died and all those who lost them, and it’s so unbelievably saddening how events like that can take place. One of things about this song is that it can apply to lots of situations in the world; from the insanity of the current Iraq War, to today’s tragedy in Virginia, or with your own personal pain.

I love the choir background vocals in it. They add so much of the heavenly feel to it, like they’re angels, and Dolly is singing up to God, and it’s so powerful with a voice like her’s. I love how she mixed a bluegrass/folk-ish song with gospel to create a masterpiece like this. The fiddle and mandolin add to the somewhat traditional part of it, keeping it simple but not too simple. I truly think Dolly is one of the best songwriters of all time and this truly helps proves it. When I listened to this song again before I wrote this, I turned it up loud, because it’s just so incredible. Whenever you need comfort and love, turn to God up above, and He’ll help you get through the healing process…

Thanks for reading!

Buy the song here on iTunes now!

Here are the lyrics to “Hello God”, written by Dolly Parton:

Hello God, are you out there?
Can you hear me, are you listening’ any more?
Hello God, if we’re still on speaking’ terms,
Can you help me like before?
I have questioned your existence,
My resistance leaves me cold
Can you help me go the distance?
Hello God, hello, hello

This old world has gone to pieces
Can we fix it, is there time?
Hate and violence just increases
We’re so selfish, cruel and blind
We fight and kill each other
In your name, defending you
Do you love some more than others?
We’re so lost and confused

Hello God, are you out there?
Can you hear us, are you listening’ any more?
Hello God, if we’re still on speaking’ terms,
Can you help us like before?
Oh, the free will you have given
We have made a mockery of
This is no way to be living’,
We’re in great need of your love
Hello God

Hello God, can you grant us
Love enough to make amends?
(Hello God) Is there still a chance
That we could start again?
Hello God, we’ve learned our lesson
Dear God, don’t let us go
More than ever
Hello God, hello, hello
Hello God, we really need you
We can’t make it without you
(Hello God) We beseech you
In the name of all that’s true
Hello God, please forgive us
For we know not what we do

Hello God, give us one more chance to prove ourselves to you

Hello, God

Hello, God



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