The song that is currently on repeat in all of my playlists and is constantly in my head is “Two Doors Down”, from the album “Here You Come again”, by none other than the country queen, Dolly Parton. “Two doors down” is under the country music umbrella, but is also a crossover in the pop market. In this song the texture is sort or graininy, but that has to do with the recording technologies from the 70s which is the time period in which it was recorded and released. Dollys version was also made into a cover by Zella Lehr.
In the relationships between the instruments and how they all work together, it is plain and easy to hear that the drum is a the main heart to the rhythm and is the main source of the beat for both Dolly, who is singing, as well as the guitars that are playing. There also seemed to be an occasional cymbal that gets hit during the chorus of the song, especially when the tone of the song changes (when she picks herself up and “wanders down the hall”).
The guitars in this song are also integral to the overall feeling of the song. They make the quintessential “country” sound. The bass players lock in with Dolly and the drums to give the rhythm of the song and also add a nice “Wah wah” sound to the background. There does appear to be a banjo or some sort of more western guitar in the background as well which adds to the country aspect of the song. Dolly does have some instrumental soloists towards the end of the song, however it is primarily her singing for the majority of the song.
Overall, the textual layers of the song can be hear with the bass and the banjos in the back, with the drums and then Dollys vocals on top of everything. This song is a quintessential country song because it is about a man breaking a woman’s heart and her going to a party, but in the context of this song during the late 70s there was a second wave of feminism, so in a way this song (to me) is an empowering one.
Dolly, in the song, doesn’t let her broken heart stop her from going out to the part “two doors down” because she realizes that people can make you feel inferior, but it’s up to you to empower yourself. This concept is something that the feminist fought and defended, as well as tried to imply to women of the decade. To me, this song has particular resonance as my first semester of college was a rough one.
In the song, Dolly is edged out of a friend group and is alone before she puts herself out there and decides to pick herself up, which is literally what happened to me my first semester.
I listen to this song because it reminds me that, while some people can drop you like a hot potato and you don’t know why, leaving you broken hearted, you have to put yourself out there again to find the truly good people so you can “have your own party two doors down” not being “aware that they’re around”.