Dolly Parton’s New Song She Calls the New ‘9 to 5’: ‘It’s a Women’s Anthem’


  • Dolly Parton loves “being a woman” and writing about women.
  • The Queen of Country says “Woman Up (And Take It Like A Man)” is the new “9 to 5.”
  • The singer speaks about writing “Run, Rose, Run” with James Patterson.

Dolly Parton‘s latest album, “Run, Rose, Run,” goes hand-in-hand with her debut fiction novel by the same name she co-wrote with author James Patterson. There’s one particular “women’s anthem” song on the album called “Woman Up (And Take It Like A Man).” In fact, Parton calls it the new “9 to 5.”

Dolly Parton performing 'Woman Up,' which she calls the new '9 to 5,' and other songs off 'Run, Rose, Run.'
Dolly Parton | Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW

‘Woman Up (And Take It Like A Man)’

In an interview with the “Work Life with Adam Grant” podcast, Parton was asked about her draw to songs about strong women.

“I just really love being a woman,” she said. “And I think everybody should be able to be proud of who they are and use their own strengths and their own talents and be recognized for that.”

“Woman Up (And Take It Like A Man)” is about the two main female characters in the novel.  

“They both write songs, they both have a mind of their own,” she said of the characters, “as I do and as I always have.”

The song is about the moment the characters decide to take action.

“I’m gonna woman up and take it like a man/ I’m gonna buckle up, be tough enough/ To take control and make demands/ Look like a woman, think like a man/ Be as good as or better than/ Gotta woman up and take it like a man.”

Dolly Parton says ‘Woman Up (And Take It Like A Man)’ is the new ‘9 to 5’

“It’s like a new little ‘9 to 5,’ a women’s anthem,” she said of the song. “It’s in praise of women and I thought it was a clever title.”

“9 to 5” came out in 1980 along with the accompanying film by the same name. All these years later, it’s still considered the working woman’s anthem. Parton is hoping “Woman Up” will have the same effect.

While the Queen of Country loves “Woman Up,” it’s not her favorite on the album.

“My favorite song is ‘Blue Bonnet Breeze’ because I love story songs and I got to do all those harmonies with myself,” she said. “And I just love that kind of a song. I love them all but that’s my very personal favorite.”

Dolly Parton on writing ‘Run, Rose, Run’ with James Patterson

One day out of the blue, Patterson reached out to Parton to be his co-author.

The singer thought: “Why me? You seem to be doing alright on your own.”

The author wanted to work with the “Jolene” singer because he wanted to write a book about Nashville. And who knows more about Nashville — and particularly the Nashville music scene — than Dolly Parton? 

Parton said writing “Run, Rose, Run” with Patterson was a lot like co-writing a song, which she actually doesn’t do very often “because I like the process of writing alone. It’s a very sacred time to me.” But she found the process to be “pretty comfortable.” The artists would communicate via phone, email, even fax, and they’d visit one another when they could.

As for writing an accompanying album, “I don’t know if it’s been done before but it just made sense to me,” said Parton.

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