So, I've been on a Dolly kick this week -- long story short, I ran across the paper dolls from the Trio album, which inspired me to dig that out, along with Little Sparrow -- and I've got to say, this song is three minutes of pure joy:
I noted from YouTube comments that people have even used it as a wedding song. And it can totally, totally be interpreted as this happy, joyful song -- because, in the moment that the narrator is singing it, it IS a happy, joyful moment.
However*. And here's where the Genius of Dolly Parton kicks in**. Because even though it can be interpreted as Pure Happy, lines like "Cause he knows a lot about love and stuff" and "Cause he's done kiss me on the mouth/So he's gotta marry me" make me suspect that the narrator is a really young, really naive girl who has a rude awakening on the way.
And the fact that the song is sandwiched between TWO songs -- "Mountain Angel" and "Down From Dover" -- about Girls Who Get Done Wrong By Guys Who Make Big Promises (and who both get pregnant, incidentally, and who BOTH lose their babies) makes me think that I'm not over-analyzing here.
Regardless, though, great song. And regardless of what happens to the narrator afterwards, it DOES express a moment of pure joy. And therefore, I have no difficulty in enjoying it as such.
*A digression: I came in the door last night, and without even saying, "Hello" like an actual human being, I started this exchange:
Me: Ohmygod, so Dolly's "Marry Me" is, like, the Best Song Ever. Josh: Yeah, it's great -- that's the song that made me buy the album. Me: Although... Josh: Yeeeeep. Me: I kind of think the narrator's relationship isn't going to work out so well. Josh: Oh, it's going to be a complete disaster.
It was just one of those nice moments that makes me feel really grateful. It's nice to be able to come barrelling in the door blathering about something I've been mulling over on my own and it's even more nice that when I bring it up, offering no background information or explanation, Josh not only knows what I'm talking about, but he doesn't think I'm bananas. Or too bananas, anyway. Anyway.
**Seriously, dudes. You mess with her, you mess with me.