How Dolly Parton Wrote the Song "9 to 5" Will Totally Surprise You (and Make You Laugh)
New book Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, is out this month.
If we were on a desert island, along with essentials, food, and a very strong cell phone connection, we'd hope that we'd have plenty of Dolly Parton albums to keep us entertained. Who's with us?
So many of the Smoky Mountain Songbird's tunes are etched into our hearts forever, and we've often found ourselves wondering what inspired Parton to pen such beautiful pieces, from "Jolene" (here's the scoop on that!) to "I Will Always Love You." Now, we're thrilled to learn just that in her upcoming book Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, in which Parton shares the stories behind 150 of her best-loved songs. The book is out Tuesday, November 17, but we were recently pleased to learn in a social media post that Parton has revealed the inspiration behind 10 of her favorite songs in a new cover story with Parade magazine.
Among them, the article covers the backstories to standouts like "Coat of Many Colors," "Daddy's Working Boots," and Parton's popular duet with Willie Nelson, “Everything’s Beautiful (In Its Own Way)." But one tune piqued our interest the most: 1980 megahit, "9 to 5," created for the movie of the same name, which Parton starred in alongside Jane Fonda
So how did this uber-famous tune come to be? Like most things turned platinum in this world, from humble origins. “I didn’t want to disrupt everything on the set by making music and attracting attention when other people were trying to work,” writes Parton, who decided to embark on the songwriting journey with nothing but her fingernails and her inventive spirit. “I would take my nails and make them sound like a typewriter. Off by myself, I would click my nails and use that sound as my music. I wrote ‘9 to 5’ in my head that way. I’d go back to my hotel at night and put down what I had written that day, playing my guitar and getting it on tape. Over a long period of time, I wrote the song on my nails. I’m famous for that now. Every time I go on TV, I have to ‘play’ my nails like a typewriter," she continues. Oh, Dolly, only you. So ingenious.
WATCH: Y’all Can Keep Singing "Happy Birthday," But We’re Washing Our Hands to "Jolene"
As for us, we'd like to make an addendum to our desert island wish list—a copy of Songteller to accompany all those albums. Who's excited to get their hands on a copy of the new book?