Dolly Rebecca Parton was born in 1946. She is an American singer, writer, recorder, producer, actress and philanthropist. She is also active in the business field where she trades in various things. The American has been active for a long time since 1957. Dolly Parton is also an instrumentalist, actress and philanthropist. She is particularly industrious in producing country music. She has also done movies such as Little Warehouse in Texas and Steel Magnolias. Among the female producers in the world, she is one of the best. She was born in Sevierville. She is the forth in a family of twelve children. Her father was known as Robert Lee Parton. Her family was poor and has actually sung a number of songs to this effect. Such include “A Coat of Many colors” and “In the Good Old Days when Times were bad.” She however seems to remember these old days with a lot of nostalgia. She started performing as a child, and sung on local radio and television programs. She in addition to singing country music, she has also done Country pop and Bluegrass. She is good in working on instruments such as the guitar, the banjo, autoharp, drums and the Appalachian.
Amiri Baraka, also known as Leroi Jones explores the Blues People and says there has been a lot of assimilation of black people into the American society and culture. Lil Wayne is himself African. Baraka writes the book as a dedication to his parents whom he says are the first Negroes he ever met. Western Culture was something very new to Africans in America. History has it that black Americans emerged during the long period of slave trade between Africa an the rest of the world. Slaves were captured from the African lands, were shipped to West Africa and shipped away to the Americas where they worked as slaves in the lands. The raw materials produced after the agricultural processes were complete were then taken to Europe where they were supposed to feed the industries. This went on for a long time until the slave trade stopped. This only happened after various stakeholders such as human rights activists started emerging to fight for the rights of the slaves. There was also the emergence of economists who argued that the best kind of performance can only be achieved if a person works willingly as opposed to when he is forced to do so.
Leroi Jones talks of the importance of art in the society. He explores that art is supposed to create some form of entertainment to the people. It is important that art achieves satisfaction for the audience watching it. This means that a stressed person is made to feel more relieved at this point in time. Music was and is still used on sick people and persons suffering from mental problems to make them feel better.
Art is also meant to talk about ones experiences. Dolly Parton craftily does this in almost all her songs. She is particularly concerned about the “dirty poverty” that her family went through. She says that her family was not that economically blessed. This however did not deter her from achieving her goals. In addition to talking about her background and past experiences, Dolly Parton is able to encourage people going through difficult moments in life. She says that difficult moments do not last. Her songs have emerged very popular over the years out of these messages.
Most of the musicians in the Americas are of American descent. Leroi has sought through his various works to explain why this trend is common. The African Americans took very long to consolidate themselves in music and art. One of the challenges according to Leroi that they faced was the Language gap. The slave trade happened as the transatlantic trade was on. Africans who were taken as slaves and who were the fore-fathers of the current Afro-Americans were used to their native languages. They had been obtained from the indigenous tribes in Africa and had been transported to offer a cheap source of raw materials. The basis used in getting this people away was their strength and health. Some of them were exported since they were loners, others because they were mentally challenged or because some were widows. At times, the process was done after an attack or raid in a certain village. The language barrier has therefore been in existence for long. They therefore were not able to indulge immediately in music and performance because like their counterparts the Native Americans. English was the language of instructions and they were not conversant with it.
American modernization has been an approaching trend lately. This is where different persons are now involved in various tasks. We are exploring art and in this case African Americans have also been able to take over this trend. People like Dolly Parton have companions in this vast field of entertainment. The blue Americans no longer have language problems as barrier since they can effectively communicate. Leroi Jones says that the Africa is equally capable of doing what Native Americans can do. The same is not only notable in the field of art but also in other areas such as education and politics where African Americans are now able to fit completely. Jones and his friends actually form an organization that seeks to ring people with African origin together and actually encourage them that are equally capable of achieving a lot (Miller 2009 pg 176)
The American standards in art have it that art must meet certain requirements before being launched. The Afro Americans have been able to achieve these minimum standards and as such achieved great progress. These standards maintain that art has to have a certain purpose. It is imperative that art communicates certain things. Art that does not have a purpose is considered vague and therefore unfit for the audience to listen to.
American individualism has dwindled down to almost zero. Writers like Albert Murray underscore the importance of unity as opposed to individualistic ideas. Intellectuals have continued to promote collectivism. Unity promotes cooperation between people. This would further promote the oneness of Americans as opposed to when black Americans are discriminated against. It is important that Americans learnt to be together for the overall prevention of rifts and wrangles.
Collectivism has further led to the development of talents. American artists now work closely with the black Americans and share ideas on various things. Sharing of ideas has been made possible as opposed to initially when every one was working on their own. This is notable in the current American situation. A number of artists with African origin like Lil Wayne have emerged to compete favorably with their counterparts. This is a direct effect of the interaction between American artists and the Afro- Americans (Debusscher, 1981 pg 156)
I smile by Franklin Kirk
The song is written by Kirk Franklin and is directed to people facing difficulty. The writer talks about times in life when things are so hard. He says it comes a point when sadness is all that engulfs a person; he finds it difficult to smile. The song is meant to encourage people in such a situation and gives them hope of a new dawn.
He says he personally went through a period where he almost gave up on life. He however saw the love of God who came to his help and made him smile again. He urges people to always be happy when things go hard since God is watching over them. He tells them that it would be of greater help to smile since wallowing in sadness will make them feel worse.
Bob Dylan’s Version
The speaker is a parent advising his son or daughter. It could also be a prayer by a parent to God concerning his son. He prays that his son’s wishes come true and hopes that he succeeds in his ambitions. He also wishes the young man stays young forever as he works towards being righteous and true to himself and others.
He prays that his son remains courageous and wants him to be busy and engaged in constructive activities throughout. He hopes his son will always be timely in all his undertakings. He beseeches him to ensure he is not sluggish in all he does. He also asks his son to lay a strong foundation for himself and be joyful when things change.
Rod Stewart’s Version
This one is also a prayer by a parent regarding his child. He is praying for God’s protection upon his son’s life. He also prays for providence and happiness upon the life of his son. He wishes his son is guarded and protected by the Mighty hand of God and hopes his son will always be proud of his achievements.
He asks of his son to be truthful and dignified in his dealings. He wants him to be courageous and brave. He admits he loves him and will that he will always stay in his heart. He asks heavens to open fortunes of luck and his guiding light to be strong. He hopes his son reaches the sky limit.
He prays that his son may achieve whatever he loves and sets his mind to. He hopes that his son’s achievements will be notable even upon his death. He prays that he will remain thankful to him always and that he will live to remember the words of advice. He offers his full support to his son in the poem and pledges not to leave him in both success and failure.
William also focuses on singing as advice. He is wishing his son well in the life he lives because he loves him and wants him to succeed. He asks God to bless and keep him safe always. He wishes that the young man’s dreams may all come true and that he helps others. He also prays that help may also come his way. He asks his son to work hard so that he may achieve big things in life. He wishes that his son stays young forever. He also wants him to remain righteous and good towards all people. He asks his son to remain steadfast in talking the truth. He beseeches him to have courage and be brave as well as stand upright as this will see him far. He wants him to be busy and committed in all that he does.
He prays that even when things change and appear difficult to handle his son may always be joyful. This will make him be forever young. Interaction has also brought about variety. Afro Americans are able to integrate both the western art and African art together. This causes a type of genre such as jazz which effectively satisfies the needs of the audience and makes them to enjoy it more as opposed to when Americans do it alone. This has fostered development in the music industry a great deal.
Albert Murray summarizes the importance of music and art into some segments. He underscores that music is a medium through which possibilities of art are discovered. Through sharing of ideas persons are able to get into the industry. A person engaging in music or the first time must have obtained some mentorship from another. People are therefore able to know whatever talents that they have an as such exploit them for purposes of helping them I future. This is what a majority of artists have done. Such established artists such as Dolly Parton have mentored different individuals some of them being afro-Americans. The idea of individualism again is reflected here since with it taking sharp focuses and without being eliminated, mentorship is hindered.
Murray further emphasizes that art is supposed to educate. . When people are in the theatre acting, they aim at passing certain messages to their audience. The messages by Dolly Parton in such songs as “A coat of many colors” educate people on the importance of patience in life. The singer is particular in narrating her own life history and says how her mother saw threads together to make her a coat of many colors. Her friends laughed about this but she went ahead to feel proud of it despite their behavior. She educates people that they need to feel proud of themselves with achievements however small other people think they are. Such persons ought to walk with their shoulders high since they have the conviction that what they have achieved is remarkable.
Murray articulates that the blue idioms are the most efficient American vernacular. Universal ideas are exchanged through art and music. These are ideas that affect both whole American races. The ideas often are translated into practicality thus achieving great progress in the art industry. Universal ideas also seek to introduce new members into the industry.
Art according to Murray makes life meaningful. Murray explains this by saying that art is refreshing to the audience. It helps release tension in minds of the audience and makes them assume a relaxed position. He is categorical in stating that persons who love music are always at ease. This is because the music notes in a performance have a soothing capability in them. The audience is therefore able to appreciate this development in their lives. Life would be weird without art. People who do painting do it for fun. Those who go to the theatre go there because they feel it is the place for them.