April 14, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Beyoncé's cover of “Jolene” updates the lyrics of Dolly Parton's song

Beyoncé's cover of “Jolene” updates the lyrics of Dolly Parton's song

Looks like Dolly Parton correctly hinted. After the country music icon said she thought Beyoncé would sample or take her 1973 classic “Jolene” from her new album, Bey did just that, including a cover of the song with modified lyrics and song structure on her highly anticipated new album, “Cowboy Carter.”

Parton didn't let the cat completely out of the bag — she made two cameos on the record, introducing the country-meets-“Tyrant,” as well as having her own interlude “Dolly P” before “Jolene.” “Hello, Miss Honeybee, I'm Dolly Bee. You know that walrus with the pretty hair she's singing about?” Parton says in “Dolly P,” referring to Beyoncé's 2016 song “Sorry” and the line “Becky with the good hair.” “She reminds me of someone I used to know, except she had flaming brown locks, bless her heart. Just different color hair but it hurts the same.”

Beyoncé brings her own fiery spin to “Jolene,” changing the lyrics and overall tone of the original song. When Barton pleads and pleads with the woman not to steal her man, Bay sends warning shots to one of the suitors: “I can easily understand why you're attracted to my man / But you don't want this smoke, so shoot it somebody else.” She continues to make her revenge more explicit, singing, “I had to have this talk with you 'cause I hate to act a fool / Your peace depends on how you move, Jolene.”

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Parton referenced the “Jolene” cover on Wednesday night, posting a photo of the album's tracklist to her Instagram Stories and writing, “Play the original while waiting for beyonce's 'Jolene'.” On Thursday, she posted a throwback photo of herself to her grid, captioning the photo, “Just call me Dolly P” and using Beyoncé's “Texas Hold 'Em” as the accompanying audio.

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“Jolene” is one of two standout covers on “Cowboy Carter,” in which Beyoncé sings with Tanner Adele in a rendition of the Beatles' “Blackbird” (titled “Blackbird”). Elsewhere on the album, it folds in several interpolations including references to the Beach Boys' “Good Vibrations,” Nancy Sinatra's “These Boots Are Made For Walkin',” and Fleetwood Mac's “Landslide” on Miley Cyrus' duet “II Most “Wanted”. “.

“Cowboy Carter” comes less than two months after Beyoncé's surprise release of her singles “Texas Hold 'Em” and “16 Carriages” during the Super Bowl in early February. She explained in an Instagram post that she was inspired to create “Cowboy Carter” after an incident in which she did not feel “welcome,” likely in reference to a controversial performance alongside the Dixie Chicks (as they were known then) at the Country Music Association Awards For the year 2016.

Read the full dive into Beyoncé's “Cowboy Carter” album.