My friend and I are in Italy. We’re staying on Murano, an island next to Venice. The water taxis are on strike, and we’ve spent a long day sightseeing and commuting by water bus. We’re back in our room, journaling and flipping through the tv stations. Suddenly the room is filled with singing, English singing. My finger pauses on the remote. The voice sounds familiar, twangy…
It’s Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
We’re more than 5,000 miles from the eponymous location, but here the musical is, blasting away in a little hotel outside of Venice. We’re laughing, but I’m grateful for the English. Oddly, it doesn’t last—all of the talking has been dubbed into Italian. Dolly Parton’s lips move, and a rich Italian voice bounces to my ears.
I end up watching the entire movie, the English singing filling in the plot for me between the dubbed Italian. When it ends, I am supremely disappointed.
It is now a decade later, and I still think of Venice every time I see Dolly Parton, two disparate entities forever linked in my mind.