The band of gold is a promise of fidelity—it signifies “forever,” or for at least as long as the golden ring remains. Gold is an image of permanence, but, after betrayal, neither party to the marriage can see anything but “rust” in place of jewelry and the “plans we’ve made just yesterday, sands of time have chipped away.” Like mighty Ozymandias, “now they’ve crumbed into dust.” So, “knowing there’s no hope for us,” what do we do from here? Well, Dottie and Don are still in harmony, and they sound as though torn between mourning and toe-tapping. Colin Escott calls this trax “playful,” and that’s definitely the dominant mood. There are three electric guitarists (including Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed) having a ball here, and Grady Martin’s solo is a model of mockery, laughing at the lover’s predicament and imitating their lament. The doctrine “nothing lasts forever,” therefore, may kill the metaphysics of romance, but the party is just beginning.
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