The song won’t be heard until the box is opened in 2045.

By Meghan Overdeep
January 07, 2021
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At Dollywood's DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, there is a display case housing a locked wooden box. In it lies a secret Dolly Parton song, unheard by all but the Queen of Country herself.

Parton's Dream Box, which was created out of chestnut wood by her uncle Bill, also includes a copy of her 2012 book Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You, as well as a piece of wood from the front porch of her childhood home.  

"My new resort is a dream 30 years in the making, and the items I picked for my Dream Box are closely tied to special people who encouraged me and certain events in my life where that encouragement paid off," the country music icon said in a statement ahead of the resort's 2015 opening. "My dream is that families who stay with us will be reminded that encouraging and loving each other is a powerful way to connect with one another."

Parton recently addressed the mystery box in her book, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, revealing that it was dreamed up by one of her employees as a way to help market the resort. It has since evolved into something more—a way to ensure that her legacy lives on.

"It would be a song that will never be heard until 30 years from the time we opened the resort. They said, 'You'll be long dead,'" Parton writes. "I said, 'Well, maybe not. I'll be 99. I've seen people live to be older than that.'"

Dolly Parton
Credit: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

She was told that she had to keep the song a secret, and that she could not share it until the box was opened in 30 long years.

"That's like burying one of my kids, putting it on ice or something, and I won't be around to see it brought back to life," Parton notes. "So, I wrote this song, and I can't say what it is. It's just burning me up inside that I have to leave it in there."

The singer was able to share that the song is on a CD. The box also contains a CD player, because, she writes, "there's no telling what music is going to be by then."

"Hopefully, it will play and the whole thing ain't rotted," Parton jokes.

"Anyway, it's kind of weird or strange that they would ask me to write this mystery song," she adds. "I don't know if I want to live to be 100 or not. But you never know. I might, and if I do, I'm going to be at that opening."

We think you'll be there, Dolly!