Dolly Parton

Evening Shade

Song Information
By: Dolly Parton
Original Appearance: My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy
Compilations: RCA Country Legends Series
Alternate Versions: None

My chain of thought was broken by a sudden burst of laughter
Something badly needed to lighten up the chores
Seemed old Mrs. Bailey had accidentally fell
In the water being used to scrub the floors
Now Mrs. Bailey was the meanest matron at the home
She believed in lots of work with little play
And we laughed til we bent double
Though we knew we'd get in trouble
But trouble's all we had at evening shade

Now evening shade was where they claim to teach you understanding
Teach you love and keep you off the streets
And all the kids that live there are said to be a problem
Juvenile delinquents so to speak

But understanding isn't learned from punishment and anger
An iron hand has no gentle touch and love ain't learned from hate
The reason we were there is 'cause we had no one who cared
But they cared even less at evening shade

Little Susan Bradley, one night had wet her bed
Mrs. Bailey took the razor strap and beat her half to death
And I knew that something must be done to put an end to this
And so I started talking plans with the older kids

Plans were that Joe Johnson would steal the kerosene
And I would get some matches when nobody seen
Beckie Adams would make sure the kids were all outside
Billy Watson would look out for the evil eye

Now Mrs. Bailey took a nap at three o'clock each day
We knew that she'd be a'sleeping as the plans got underway
Now that it's all over and the sun is going down
There's no evening shade because we burned it to the ground

Evening shade was burning just like the hell it was