Back through the years
I go wonderin' once again
Back to the seasons of my youth
I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
And how my momma put the rags to use
There were rags of many colors
But every piece was small
And I didn't have a coat
And it was way down in the fall
Momma sewed the rags together
Sewin' every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors
That I was so proud of

As she sewed, she told a story
From the Bible she had read
About a coat of many colors
Joseph wore and then she said
Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness
And I just couldn't wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss

My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

So with patches on my britches
And holes in both my shoes
In my coat of many colors
I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughing
And making fun of me
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

And oh, I couldn't understand it
For I felt I was rich
And I told 'em of the love
My momma sewed in every stitch
And I told 'em all the story
Momma told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors
Was worth more than all their clothes

But they didn't understand it
And I tried to make them see
That one is only poor
Only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money
But I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me
Made just for me


Lyrics submitted by tantalumtelluride

Coat of Many Colors Lyrics as written by Dolly Parton

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Coat of Many Colors song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General Comment

    I can't believe nobody else has posted to this song yet.

    Dolly names this as her personal favorite of her songs. It's about how her family couldn't afford to buy her a new coat, so her mom sewed together whatever material they had available. The kids at school made fun of Dolly, because they didn't understand that material wealth isn't necessary for people to be happy.

    bokononiston September 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    the story behind this song is sooo sad. Casue she thoguht it was the NEATest thing(yeah I said neat) and she loved ehr coat, her momma made it and it was like Josephs, but everyone made fun of her.

    I LOVE this song, its GREAT!!

    mariahlovesmusicon February 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i LOVE this song, i dont care what anyone says it is one of the cutest songs in the world. speaks for itself and is simple but with a good message.

    concreteskieson May 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I can relate to her song.

    I live here in the Philippines, and life isn't really good way back then, My Nanay(mom) used to made some shorts pants for me and my brother using small pieces of clothes too. It was not really sad, coz that was a bit normal in our life those years, but after hearing this song it made me reLIAZE and appreciate what our Mother(Nanay) did for us when we are still kids....actually those short pants are really comfortable to wear.

    Nanay is our Filipino term for Mom...

    I want to dedicate this comments to her.

    bear_hug20on July 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    my auntie sings this song i LOVE it

    not only do the other kids laugh cz she 'poor' but because she talks of god which is so true in alot of bullying cases - its so uncool to be religious which i find real sad

    my brother doesn't like me to sing this song cause i turn into dolly(american accent) (im from england) bless him

    mrgadd4on August 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    ~ I love this song dearly!!! I listened to Dolly as a Child and actually sang this song a lot while making my son all his homemade shirts, carefully making sure each horseshoe snap was the right side up and put the heart shaped patches on his jeans. One would never know the sacrifices made for him how he acts now as a 'man'. If one didn't know any better they'd think he was born with a gold spoon in his mouth. I don't understand why one can not be proud of all the "labor of love" than the make believe of pretending you came from the 'upper crust'.

    Like Dolly sings so beautifully "I couldn't understand it", now I can't understand it.

    To bad, so sad that some take for granted all the love given in those every stitches that some never even had the chance to receive.

    Sly ~

    SLYcraftson March 30, 2011   Link

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