Graveyards: The Unlikely Place Where Dolly Parton Finds Peace and Inspiration
Dolly Parton isn't afraid of living outside the box. In fact, it seems there isn't much that scares the Southern songstress.
The country icon who wakes up at 3am every morning, wears high heels while cooking, and keeps her Christmas decorations up well into January, also goes her own way when it comes to finding inspiration.
And sometimes, that means spending time in cemeteries.
"My niece and I had a picnic in a graveyard three days ago," Parton shared in a September phone call with Taste of Country. "I just love walking through them and looking at [the headstones]. I just love to imagine what people's lives were like. They're so well kept, and they're peaceful."
"It's not the dead I'm afraid of—it's the living!" she added with a laugh.
Taste of Country recently shared two examples from Parton's 2020 book Songteller: My Life in Lyrics that detail how graveyard visits inspired the lyrics for "Jeannie's Afraid of the Dark" and "Out of the Silence (Came a Song)."
The latter reportedly came to Parton when she was "sitting up on Graveyard Hill," a cemetery near her home in Tennessee.
"I was thinking about all those people in their graves, wondering about their lives, of all the things that might have happened to them," she writes. "I'd create lives for all of those people in the graveyard, just invent stories in my head for them. A creative mind just likes to do that, I guess."
"Even if I wasn't writing about the people in the graveyard, I've written many songs just being in that peaceful environment," she adds, "and read many a book."
You do you, Dolly!