Despite its sexist premise (it’s the other woman’s fault this man can’t honor his commitment?) and its dubious backstory (is he really the ‘only man’ for you if he would dump you for a soft-spoken ginger?), Jolene really is the best song ever written.
It’s a masterclass in leaving you wanting more. The simple and elegant chord progression moves so pleasingly under the clever but natural rhymes of the verses, but just enough to give you a taste for more. I wish there were twelve more verses.
But ultimately, it’s the naked pathos of one woman pleading with another to have pity. She has no other resources left; she’s arrived at her last resort: begging. Her happiness depends on Jolene and what she decides to do…and we never find out.