Back through the years
I go wondering 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;
Every piece was small,
And I didn’t have a coat,
And it was way down in the fall.
Momma sewed the rags together,
Sewing 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 as 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 them of the love
My momma sewed in every stitch,
And I told them 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 song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI 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 Commentthe 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 Commenti 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 CommentI 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 Commentmy 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.

    SLYcraftson March 30, 2011   Link

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