Photo: Vijat Mohindra

Dolly Parton – World On Fire

She’s 77 and she’s still one of the most prominent musicians in the world right now. Her name is Dolly Parton and she’s a rockstar – starting this May 12, that is.

When Parton first promised us a rock record sometime last year, we could never have guessed that it would be a 30-song project featuring seven original songs. The lead single off of the album, Rockstar, “World On Fire” is about how humanity can forge a brighter future if we just pull together to stop the hate.

Liar, liar, the world’s on fire / What you gonna do when it all burns down? / Fire, fire, burnin’ higher / Still got time to turn it all around,” Parton sings in the opening chorus of our ability to stop the growing chaos if we choose to.

The first verse sees the songstress detail how she, even though she isn’t commenting on them, isn’t out of touch with reality and how “everybody’s trippin’ over this or that.” Further on, she mourns the state of humanity but insists that we can turn it around if we chose friendship over hatred.

Taking a swing at politics, Parton sings in the third verse, “Don’t get me started on politics / Now how are we to live in a world like this? / Greedy politicians, present and past / They wouldn’t know the truth if it bit ’em in the ass.” This almost reminds me of that Charlie Puth line in “Is It Just Me” that goes “politicians are annoying.” However, musicians taking a swipe at politics through their music isn’t a new thing. I’m suspecting it started immediately after people realized politics isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

On Thursday, May 11, Parton debuted “World On Fire” at the Academy of Country Music Awards with a beautiful performance that blew the minds of fans.

Initially teasing the song on Good Morning America last month, the star called the song a “good solid rock anthem,” adding that “it’s really kinda about the times and how we can do a little better if we try to heal the divide and just get along a little better. It’s got a great message to it.”

Penned entirely by Parton and produced by Wells and Parton, the over 4-minute song quickly wormed its way into people’s hearts through the wholesome message it shares. “Have we all lost sight of common decency? Of wrong and right? How do we heal this divide?” The single’s cover image shows Parton sitting on a world that’s already starting to burn.