Dolly Parton Says This Is the Hardest Song She’s Ever Written

Dolly Parton is a multitalented singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. From her iconic hits to her golden blonde hair, cookbooks, and Netflix films, there is not much Parton can’t do.

Still, despite her mega-talent, the Tennesse-born entertainer has had some challenges. In fact, she has just revealed that “I Will Always Love You” was the hardest song she’s ever written.

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton | David Redfern/Redferns

Dolly Parton wrote ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘Jolene’ on the same day

When it comes to songwriting talent, Parton has it in spades. In fact, she wrote two of her greatest hits, “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene,” on the very same day back in 1972.

After seven years on the Porter Wagoner Show, Parton was leaving to do other things with her career, and she wrote “I Will Always Love You” as a tribute to Wagoner and their working relationship. In a 2018 interview on The Bobby Bones Show, Parton said,

In 1972, I wrote, it. At the same time I wrote “Jolene.” That was a good writing day. “I Will Always Love You” is that signature song that when I was leaving the Porter Wagoner Show trying to make sense of what, you know, that I appreciate you and I wish you well, and I thank you for loving me and all that, but I’ve gotta go.

Dolly Parton freaked out when she heard Whitney Houston sing ‘I Will Always Love You’ for the first time

Houston took on Parton’s song when she starred in the 1992 drama, The Bodyguard. It was the lead song and would become one of Houston’s biggest hits on the highest-selling soundtrack of all time.

Parton remembers that she was in the car driving when she first heard the “Shoop Shoop (Exhale)” singer’s version of the song for the very first time. Though she Houston for her megastardom, she had no idea that she’d take on the song.

“I knew it was something, but it didn’t register,” Parton said in an interview with  SiriusXM. “I thought ‘What is that? I know what that is,’ and then all of a sudden she starts that … when she goes into the ‘I will always love you’ part honest-to-goodness, I almost wrecked. I had to pull over.”

Dolly Parton says ‘I Will Always Love You’ is the hardest song she’s ever written

Though she wrote “I Will Always Love You” on the same day she wrote “Jolene,” Parton says that the iconic song is still the hardest song she’s ever written. In a recent interview with Marie Claire, the singer explained,

I wrote this song when I was ready to leave The Porter Wagoner Show and go out and start my solo career. Writing it was the only way I could think to express how I was feeling at that time and make him understand how much I loved and appreciated him and everything he had done for me. Some of the greatest songs come out of the most painful feelings.