Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” is probably one of the most popular songs she ever recorded, and it’s been covered hundreds of times by hundreds of people over the years. Now, with Dolly Parton promoting her new Netflix show Heartstrings, she is issuing fans a challenge:
Cover Jolene, and use the hashtag #JoleneChallenge.
There are already a ton of covers posted, and in a video announcing the challenge on Twitter, Dolly seems very excited to hear what fans can do to her classic.
Get those discount paper towels ready, folks, because if you’re a fan of Dolly Parton you’re about to get real emotional at her new special.
Heartstrings, produced by Netflix and set to hit the streaming platform on November 22 of this year, is a web anthology that chronicles eight of Dolly Parton’s most famous songs. The trailer for the special opens with Dolly explaining that songs are just stories put to music.
And that is exactly what this is, only backward – her songs, set in story form.
The eight songs that are getting an episode are “Jolene” (obviously), “These Old Bones,” “If I Had Wings,” “JJ Sneed,” “Two Doors Down,” “Down from Dover,” “Sugar Hill,” and “Cracker Jack.”
Julianne Hough, of America’s Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars fame, is playing Jolene in the namesake episode. Hough also helped Parton announce the news about the challenge.
Only one more week until “Heartstrings” is here ❤️ Share your best version of “Jolene” now using the hashtag #JoleneChallenge and watch “Heartstrings” November 22 on Netflix! pic.twitter.com/h0Ym8ZZwBW
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) November 16, 2019
Dolly Parton sure has the love and adoration of her fans – almost as soon as she released information about her “challenge,” the internet responded. A quick search on Twitter shows hundreds of new and retweeted videos of individuals, bands, and even children covering her classic hit.
One video even includes a horse in a bedroom (living room?), which is… confusing. She’s clearly singing to this horse, who is wildly uninterested. Is she singing about the horse? Is this horse trying to steal her man?!
— Laura Ashley | Country Music (@3LauraAshley) November 18, 2019
Personally, I’m waiting for Miley Cyrus to chime in with her own cover, which honestly changed my whole opinion of the pop star. It is now the video I refer people to when they say Miley can’t sing.
Looking at Dolly Parton even now at age 73, it’s hard to image anyone cheating on her, which was always what confused me about the lyrics. I don’t know what kind of neck firming cream she uses, but it might be magical.
According to an interview Dolly did a while back, Jolene was written about a red-headed bank teller that used to flirt with her husband, Carl Dean, when the two first got married in 1966. Dolly was newly married and a little insecure, apparently, and wrote the lyrics to work through her issues.
Parton and Dean have been married for over 50 years now, so we have to think that the teller didn’t really pose a threat. Plus I mean… look at her. No one is going to cheat on Dolly Parton.