It's a question that’s puzzled me for years: if Dolly Parton had to beg Jolene not to take her man, what was SHE built like…?

The country & western legend celebrated her 75th birthday this week and, bearing in mind Dolly is taller lying down than standing up, I hear she couldn’t get close enough to her cake to blow out the candles.

A blessing in disguise, perhaps, after all the self-confessed plastic surgery the singing septuagenarian might have melted.

With her very own Dollywood theme park in Tennessee (no prizes for guessing what the bouncy castle looks like), the birthday girl is a hugely successful singer-songwriter.

Tam Cowan created some coronavirus songs

A bit like Barry Gibb – the last remaining Bee Gee – whose solo album is No1 in the UK charts.

To end the week with a hat-trick of singer-songwriter celebrations, maybe I should release the CD I’ve been working on since March 2020?

It’s called The Very Best of the Coronavirus and here’s how it came about…

During the first lockdown last year, I kept busy with a variety of activities on my Instagram page (@therealtamcowan).

I hosted quiz nights in aid of the St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie. (Did you know that Gary Numan is 13 days OLDER than Gary Oldman?)

With loads of prizes donated by kind-hearted businesses and individuals – everything from a butcher’s hamper to boxes of homemade tablet and cases of wine – I also did weekly free giveaways for a key worker/NHS angel.

(The sort of heroes who put in a harder shift than Esther Rantzen’s toothbrush.)

And, courtesy of a few celebrity pals – including Andy Cameron, Sanjeev Kohli, The Krankies and the late, great Andy Gray (RIP) – responding to my request for a joke to help keep our spirits up, I posted a series of videos called A Smile with the Stars.

That was terrific fun – particularly the naughty gag from Gordon Strachan which was told to his son many
years ago by Mark McGhee and resulted in a phone call from the school when the wee man repeated it in class.

Anyway, folks, I also entertained myself (and yes, it probably was just myself) with a whole catalogue of Covid-themed songs.

When the supermarket shelves were bereft of toilet paper, I launched my singing career on Insta with a wee bit of Bing Crosby:

I’m dreaming of a white loo roll,

Just like the ones I used to know,

Whether two-ply or three-ply,

Velvet or cushion, It’s the stuff that makes my bum cheeks glow…

Meanwhile, pop pickers, a parody of Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond became Strict Quarantine.

As football started back in empty stadiums, I did my version of the Charlie Rich classic Behind Closed Doors.

With a nod to the reasonably-priced vino at a well-known budget supermarket, I reckon Dean Martin would have loved Lidl Ole Wine Drinker Me.

And, after too much red biddy and rich food during lockdown – and with apologies to The Proclaimers – my next ditty was (I Have Got) 500 Piles.

When the travel restrictions were announced, I’m afraid a famous Cliff Richard hit didn’t sound quite so cheery:

We’re not going on a summer holiday,

No more suncream for a year or two,

No fun, no laughter, no foreign holiday,

Hameldaeme, will it dae for you,

For a year or two,

We’re staying where the midges bite you,

With weather that’ll turn you blue,

We’ve seen it in the movies,

Trainspotting and Trainspotting 2…

With restaurants closed and curry withdrawal symptoms starting to kick in, I dressed up as Luciano Pavarotti for an epic version of Nessun Dorma called Chicken Korma.

And, when pensioners were urged to stop using buses, I helped get the message across with an old Scottish favourite:

Oh you cannae put yer granny on a bus,

Oh you cannae put yer granny on a bus,

Oh you cannae put yer granny,

Unless you are a……

Well, you get the idea.

Feel free to check out all my nonsense on my Instagram @therealtamcowan