Dolly Parton – Jolene

This great artist has crossed genres and is loved by many for her singing, songwriting, acting, honesty, and just being Dolly. The song peaked at #60 on Billboard’s 100, #1 on the Hot Country Song Chart and #84 in Canada in 1974.

I’ve talked to people who have met her and know her. I hear the same stories on how nice and generous she is with her time. In the Country Charts Dolly has had 25 NO. 1 HITS 54 TOP 10 HITS 107 SONGS IN THE CHARTS

From Songfacts.

Dolly Parton has disclosed in several interviews that the song was also inspired by a red-headed bank clerk who flirted with her husband Carl Dean around the time they were newly married. Recalling the origins of her hit tune during her performance at Glastonbury 2014, she said: 

“Now, some of you may or may not know that that song was loosely based on a little bit of truth. I wrote that years ago when my husband was spending a little more time with Jolene than I thought he should be.

I put a stop to that. I got rid of that redhead woman in a hurry.

I want you folks to know, though, that something good can come from anything. Had it not been for that woman I would never have written ‘Jolene’ and I wouldn’t have made all that money, so thank you, Jolene.”

Some of the many artists who have covered this: The White Stripes, Reba McEntire, Olivia Newton-John and 10,000 Maniacs

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
I’m begging of you: please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Please don’t take him just because you can

Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green

Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, Jolene

He talks about you in his sleep
There’s nothing I can do to keep
From crying when he calls your name, Jolene

And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man
But you don’t know what he means to me, Jolene

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
I’m begging of you: please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Please don’t take him just because you can

You could have your choice of men
But I could never love again
He’s the only one for me, Jolene

I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Jolene

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
I’m begging of you: please don’t take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,
Please don’t take him even though you can

Jolene, Jolene


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

21 thoughts on “Dolly Parton – Jolene”

  1. It’s too bad that Dolly’s songwriting and singing do not get the attention that her other attributes do. Late 60’s- to mid 70’s especially. she produced a lot of great songs. I also would have been shocked to here that she was anything but a genuinely nice person. She has always come across that way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She is one lady I would love to meet…I usually don’t really have a want to meet many celebrities but her I would.
      She did have a lot of great songs. Those numbers from Billboard are just incredible.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Since you and I talked the other day about celebrities I was reminded by my sister about someone I had breakfast with when I was 8 or 9…I will have it out tomorrow. I can’t believe I forgot it. All I remember is just a few things….One hint…she is up there on Dolly’s level somewhat…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I am thinking country singer when you say up there on Dolly’s level- Loretta Lynn? That’s the first thing I think of.. or Porter Wagoner?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You WON! with Lynn…. Classy lady.
        She has a Ranch that is open to the public and it had just opened in 1974-1975… so I was 8…it had to be 1975.
        My mom (knew someone who knew her) and I were there and she saw us…she said come here the two of you…. and we sat down with her for breakfast. I can’t remember if there was anyone else there…just a totally nice woman. All I remember is she kept asking me if I needed anything and if I was having fun.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. That is an awesome story- and again not a surprise. There was a woman who lived in the town I grew up in who was known for knowing Loretta Lynn. Everytime Loretta came to the area she would always go to see her and Loretta spent time with her. The woman was a pain in the butt type person but I could see Loretta giving her the time of day… it’s funny how some folks who get big- remember where they came from and don’t get too big for their britches- and others- let it totally go to their heads and play I’m a big deal 24/7/ 365.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I just wish I would have appreciated it more at the time of course I knew she sang but that was about it… that should finish out my celeb stories lol. I couldn’t just tell you who and wait.

        I think I’ve said this before but Jack Lemmon was told “you are so nice” and he replied why shouldn’t I be?
        I guess some stars feel entitled… that no eye contact want is crazy

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Diana Ross- you are not allowed to look at her. Call me Miss Ross.. get a grip. .. Yes I’ve heard that about Lemmon and again he came across as a real nice guy.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Neil Diamond went to the same high school as Babs- and he has a bad reputation too as a real piece of work. Maybe it was something in the water– and Bobby Fischer also went there for a time anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I am looking over the list of people who went to that school in Brooklyn- it is amazing the star power– Erasmus High School in Brooklyn.. a Who’s Who… Moe Howard, Al Davis, Clara Bow, Barbara Stanwyck , Clive Davis ,Marky Ramone, Beverly Sills, Mae West and many many more.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. WOW… You could understand a Hollywood school but that IS star power…. different fields also. It must have been or is an old school considering Clara Bow… is it still open?


  2. Dolly does come across as very nice and quite humorous too. good song– I heard the White Stripes cover it in concert, it was not bad but not as good as the original. Miley Cyrus also does it – believe she is Dolly’s god-daughter- and it was the first time I began to have a modicum of respect for Cyrus’ musical abilities

    Liked by 1 person

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