Some songs are simply indisputable classics.
They come out of nowhere and they carve their way into the twists and turns of our souls, our hearts, and our lives. We live with them. We live through them. Our memories are intrinsically tied to them and we turn to them equally in moments of joy as well as pain.
And in that vein, so are some performers. Though, let’s be honest: Dolly Parton is more than a performer; she’s a national treasure. Her songs and music have shaped the American music industry and her personality never fails to delight. Tied to her name are dozens of undeniably classic songs but one floats to the top: “Jolene.”
It’s soulful. It’s sad. It’s slow enough to let you feel the story. It’s…Jolene.
To hear Dolly tell the story of it makes it even better. The song was written out of her own personal life experiences with her husband, but the name Jolene? That name belongs to a young fan who asked her for an autograph. According to her, she decided on the spot that the name deserved a song.
It’s a stunning song to cover and it’s been done before, but perhaps not ever quite like Lil Nas X has managed it. He takes it slow. He’s almost, dare I say it, playful?
His voice doesn’t soar but it is resounding in its richness. And people are here for it:
“I will never judge an artist by their stage name ever again. What a multitalented, thoroughly versatile performer and legit musician he turned out to be.” ~ Luke
“When I first listened to Lil Nas X, my response was ‘meh.’ Never did I think that this song could be performed so sensually, without hitting the higher notes. D*mn, that was powerful and sexy!” ~ Dam
“I love the new narrative this becomes with him singing it.” ~ Silent Earth
“I got absolute chills.” ~ Tamar
Check out Lil Nas X’s beautiful cover below:
In case we ever need another lesson in not judging a book by its cover, here it is.