We just couldn't leave "Once Upon a Christmas" off the list.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
March 23, 2020
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As so many grieve the loss of musical icon Kenny Rogers, who passed away at 81 of natural causes on Friday, our hearts also hurt for his dear friend and frequent collaborator, Dolly Parton.

During this mourning period and particularly trying moment in history, we're looking for as much light and hope as we can find. That's why we decided to comb through the duo's archives of hits to share a few of our favorites. Watch below and channel some of The Gambler's kind and compassionate spirit as you go through your day.

1. "Once Upon a Christmas"

"Once upon a Christmas far away in Bethlehem / Mary being great with child had no place to lie down," begins the title track from Rogers' and Parton's 1984 album that moves our spirits so deeply. Soaring into an ethereal chorus, it's hard not to get the chills when Parton's upper register melds with Rogers' warble.

2. "Islands in the Stream"

We can just hear Rogers crooning "Tender love is blind, it requires a dedication," in our heads all-day long. Written by the Bee Gees and recorded by Rogers and Parton in 1983, for Rogers' album Eyes That See in the Dark, the song climbed to #1 on Billboard charts. Watch this rendition and you'll quickly be reminded of just how much the tune deserved the accolades.

3. "You Can't Make Old Friends"

A reflective, nostalgia-tinged ballad, you can hear the mutual adoration and respect each singer has for each other in their voices in this song from Rogers' eponymous 2013 album. "What will I do when you are gone? / Who's gonna tell me the truth? / Who's gonna finish the stories I start / The way you always do?" now reads as a particularly heart-wrenching opening to a storybook friendship we wish had endured for many brilliant duets, performances, and years more.