KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The opening and closing chant of the lyrics of “World on Fire,” the new original single from Dolly Parton‘s upcoming “Rockstar” album, along with all the words she sings in between those lines spell a new rock anthem for modern times.
The iconic singer-songwriter, author, philanthropist, businesswoman and East Tennessee treasure is asking us, what are we going to do while we still have time to make changes?
The rock anthem opens (and closes) with the following lines:
“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, 77, is releasing her first-ever rock album in November with 30 tracks featuring many legends from the genre. She had teased the planning of a rock album when she was nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame early last year.
The 30 tracks appear to be an eclectic mix of original and cover songs featuring a wide variety of artists from legendary rock musicians to pop and R&B singers and prominent songwriters.
The lead original single of the album, “World on Fire” was released Thursday. The song is a beating, slow-burning buildup of guitars, hard drum beats, stomping and a choir backing the singer-songwriter as she declares that the world is on fire – and how it’s not too late “to turn it all around.”
“This song I felt very inspired to write,” Dolly states on her official website regarding the single. “I think it speaks about everything and to everyone this day and time. I hope it is something that will touch you and maybe touch enough people to want to make a change for the better.”
Parton had traditionally said she stayed out of politics and public rhetoric because she’s an entertainer.
“Now, I ain’t one for speakin’ out much, But that don’t mean I don’t stay in touch…”
Now, in her new single she sings about the politics that seem to be contributing to the fiery world, “…greedy politicians, present and past / they wouldn’t know the truth if it bit ’em in the…”
Y’all know what noun could rhyme with “past.”
The rock anthem goes on to touch on “In God We Trust” and marches in the streets, violence, and how the saving grace, Parton croons, could be “healing the hurt” with kindness, love, friendship, and ending the hatred.
Parton, perhaps as prophetic as in previous songs and chart-topping hits about love, womanhood and hard times, wants us to be saved – if we’re able to save ourselves as a society from burning it all down.
“Rockstar” is set for its global release on Friday, Nov. 17.
On Thursday night, Parton will be rocking out her new single, “World on Fire” at the ACM Awards in Texas. She is co-hosting the event with country music legend Garth Brooks and the show will be streamed live on Prime Video.
Melanie Vásquez Russell is a digital content producer of distribution at WATE 6 On Your Side. Melanie is from Houston, Texas and joined 6 News in September 2018 after years of award-winning print journalism work in Montana and Washington state. Follow Melanie on Twitter and read more of her work here.