For somebody who has admitted to writing practically 3,000 songs, when requested to call the favorites that she wrote, Dolly Parton narrowed it all the way down to a modest three throughout an interview on The Late Present with Stephen Colbert in 2020.

Parton shared her three favorites, and lots of of her greatest hits like “Jolene,” “9 to five,” “Right here You Come Once more,” or her Kenny Rogers duet, “Islands within the Stream,” didn’t make the reduce. Sharing her high three, Parton added that a few of her different favorites are lesser-known tracks that is probably not acquainted to most individuals.

“In fact ‘Jolene’ is everyone’s favourite, and I get pleasure from singing that one, however most of my songs that I like the very best are songs that no one’s ever heard of, ” she mentioned, “so to speak about them, they wouldn’t even know what I’m speaking about.”

Colbert shared that his favourite Parton tune was “Butterfly,” off her 1984 album, Love is Like a Butterfly.

“I simply get pleasure from quite a lot of the tales,” mentioned Parton. “That’s why I’m a tune teller.”

Listed below are the three Dolly Parton songs that Parton loves finest.

1. “Down From Dover” (1970)
Written by Dolly Parton

Other than a few of her extra well-known hits, one among Parton’s all-time favourite songs is one which DJs refused to play on the radio when it was launched in 1970.

Off her fifth album, The Fairest of Them All, which peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard High Nation Albums chart, “Down From Dover” tells the story of an unwed younger lady who’s rejected by her household and lover after turning into pregnant. The story takes a tragic flip because the narrator delivers her little one, which it seems is stillborn.

On the time of launch, Parton mentioned that “Down From Dover” was so controversial, and her mentor, the late Porter Wagoner, warned her that she would by no means get songs like that on radio. He was proper.

“Again on the time after I put it out on a report, they wouldn’t play it on the radio,” mentioned Parton. “Lord, now you may have a child proper on tv. It’s all completely different.”

Parton added, “I actually love a few of my songs like that, that inform tales.”

Through the years, “Down From Dover” has been lined by Skeeter Davis in 1970, Nancy Sinatra, and Lee Hazlewood in 1971. Marianne Faithfull additionally lined the Parton tune “Down From Dover” on her 2008 covers album, Simple Come, Simple Go, whereas Parton’s youthful sister Stella even took a stab at it in 2016. Parton additionally re-recorded the tune in 2001 for her album Little Sparrow.

My people weren’t understanding once they came upon
They despatched me from the house place
My daddy mentioned if people came upon
He’d be ashamed to ever present his face
My mamma mentioned I used to be a idiot
She didn’t imagine it after I advised her
Mamma every little thing could be all proper
Quickly he will likely be coming down from Dover

I discovered a spot to remain out
On a farm takin’ care of that outdated girl
She by no means requested me nothin’
So I by no means talked to her about my child
I despatched a message to my mother
With a reputation and handle of Miss. Ol’ Grover
And to ensure he received that data
When he got here down from Dover

2. “Coat of Many Colours” (1971)
Written by Dolly Parton

Written by Parton on the again of a dry cleansing receipt whereas she was on tour along with her longtime enterprise accomplice and mentor, Porter Wagoner, the tune turned the title observe of her eighth album. “Coat of Many Colours” is the real-life story of how her mom stitched collectively a coat for her out of rags and advised her the story of Joseph, within the bible, and his coat of many colours. 

Parton has usually cited “Coat of Many Colours” as one among her favourite songs that she has ever written.

“My favourite, favourite tune from a really private degree is ‘Coat of Many Colours,’” shared Parton, who added that the tune is usually used to show grammar in faculties in Tennessee in addition to anti-bullying. “It’s sort of a signature tune of mine and it’s extra than simply concerning the little coat. It’s about my mother, it’s about household, it’s about acceptance, it’s about tolerance, and even speaks to bullying—, sort of how the youngsters made enjoyable of me in school.”

She added, “They use that little tune about not making enjoyable of individuals, nevertheless it’s okay to be completely different. We’re who we’re and we have to settle for and love one another. That one I actually love due to my mother and it’s a real story and I’ve treasured reminiscences of that.”

Again via the years
I’m going wonderin’ as soon as once more
Again to the seasons of my youth
I recall a field of rags that somebody gave us
And the way my momma put the rags to make use of
There have been rags of many colours
Each piece was small
And I didn’t have a coat
And it was approach down within the fall
Momma sewed the rags collectively
Sewin’ every bit with love
She made my coat of many colours
That I used to be so happy with

As she sewed, she advised a narrative
From the Bible, she had learn
A couple of coat of many colours
Joseph wore after which she mentioned
Maybe this coat will deliver you
Good luck and happiness
And I simply couldn’t wait to put on it
And momma blessed it with a kiss

Learn extra concerning the that means behind the “Coat of Many Colours,” HERE.

3. “I Will All the time Love You” (1974)
Written by Dolly Parton

Although she famously wrote two of her greatest hits, “Jolene” and “I Will All the time Love You” on the identical day, it’s the latter tune that Parton has a deeper connection to, and one she mentioned offers the most important vary for her.

“All singers like to have a tune that you may sing tender, after which you may go huge if you wish to,” mentioned Parton. “You may sing loud or present how a lot quantity you could have, and the way a lot vary and all. So I’d suppose that ‘I Will All the time Love You’ is actually good for that, as a result of I can sing it little, or I can sing it huge.”

She added, “It’s not simply because I wrote them, however that one is actual particular.”

If I ought to keep
Effectively I’d solely be in your approach
And so I’ll go, and but I do know
I’ll consider you every step of the best way

And I’ll at all times love you
I’ll at all times love you

Bitter-sweet reminiscences
That’s all I’m taking with me
Goodbye, please don’t cry
‘Trigger we each know that I’m not
What you want

However I’ll at all times love you
I’ll at all times love you

Parton wrote and recorded “I Will All the time Love You” in 1973 as a goodbye to her former mentor and enterprise accomplice, the late Porter Wagoner. The 2 carried out as a musical duo all through the late Sixties and ’70s. Wagoner additionally featured Parton on his tv present in 1967. 

All through the years, Parton additionally revisited the tune, re-recording it in 1982 for the soundtrack to The Finest Little Whorehouse in Texas and once more as a duet with Vince Gill in 1995, nevertheless it was Whitney Houston’s model of the tune, featured within the 1992 movie The Bodyguard, that made the tune a mega-hit.

Learn our full story behind the that means of “I Will All the time Love You,” HERE.

Discover out the story behind why Dolly Parton refused to let Elvis Presley report “I Will All the time Love You,” HERE.

Photograph by Kevin Mazur/Getty Photographs for The Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame

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