"Jolene" is the title of a song written and performed by American country music artist Dolly Parton. It was released in October 1973 as the first single and title from her album Jolene, produced by Bob Ferguson. It is ranked #219 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
"Jolene" tells the tale of a housewife confronting a voluptuous seductress who she believes is trying to steal away her husband and begging her "please don't take my man". Throughout the song, the housewife implores Jolene "please don't take him just because you can." The song became Parton's second solo number-one single on the country charts after being released as a single in late 1973 (prior to the album's release). It reached the top position in February 1974; it also was a moderate pop hit for her and a minor adult contemporary chart entry, and was released as a single in the UK the following year, where it reached number seven in the UK singles chart.
Parton has said that the inspiration for the story was a tall, red-headed bank teller who Parton believed was flirting with her husband, and her husband's apparent vulnerability to the teller's charm as indicated by his sudden interest in making frequent trips to the bank. In her live performances of the song, Dolly often states she fought this woman tooth and nail for her husband. The name "Jolene" came from a beautiful little red-headed girl with green eyes who sought her autograph at a concert.
|“||I said, 'what is your name?' And she said, 'Jolene.' And I said, 'well, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene.' I said, 'that is pretty,' I said, 'that sounds like a song. I'm going to write a song about that.'|
- Olivia Newton-John
- Olivia Newton-John's version of "Jolene" is featured on her 1976 album Come on Over. Newton-John's version was released as a single in Japan.
- Sherrié Austin
- Sherrié Austin's version of "Jolene" is the second track on her 2001 album Followin' A Feeling.
- The White Stripes
- "Jolene (Live Under Blackpool Lights)" was released as a live single by American garage rock band The White Stripes. The single reached #16 in the UK singles chart in November 2004. The White Stripes previously released a studio version of "Jolene", as the B-side to their 2000 single of "Hello Operator", from the album De Stijl. In Australia, the song was ranked #10 on Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2004. Another live performance of the song is featured on the 2010 live album Under Great White Northern Lights.
- Track listing
- "Jolene (Live Under Blackpool Lights)"
- "Black Math (Live Under Blackpool Lights)" (only on cd version)
- "Do (Live Under Blackpool Lights)" (only on vinyl flip side)
- Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
- The punk cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes cover the song on their sixth album Love Their Country, released in October 2006.
- The Sisters of Mercy
- Post punk band The Sisters of Mercy often covered this song in concert as part of a series of tasteful but goth-"uncool" covers to provoke the audience. It can be heard on their live bootlegAmphetamine-Boeblingen.
- Darcy Clay
- New Zealand singer-songwriter Country Punk Rocker Darcy Clay included a cover version of the song on his EP Jesus I Was Evil.
- Susanna and the Magical Orchestra
- Norwegian Electric and Experimental duo Susanna and the Magical Orchestra covered the "Jolene" in 2004 for them debut album List of Lights and Buoys.
- Sophie Ellis-Bextor
- British popstar Sophie Ellis-Bextor covered the song in 2008, and it was used on the new BBC series Beautiful People.
- Laura Marling
- British singer-songwriter Laura Marling has covered this song with Mumford & Sons.
- Anneke van Giersbergen
- Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen, ex singer of the Dutch band The Gathering, has covered this song, a few times, live on stage.
- Queen Adreena
- British song writer and singer.
Strawberry Switchblade: Scottish female pop group Strawberry Switchblade released an electro-pop version as a single in the UK and Japan in 1985, and it was later included on an expanded edition of their 1985 s/t album.
- Other versions
- In addition to the above, "Jolene" has been performed by numerous performers, including the Iranian singer Leila Forouhar and the Dutch singer Patricia Paay both in 1977, Natalie Merchant, 1980s Scottish pop-goth group Strawberry Switchblade (1985), Keith Urban, Paula Cole, Jill Johnson on the 2007 album Music Row, Reba McEntire, Mindy Smith, Katie B, Sherrié Austin, Rhonda Vincent, the Geraldine Fibbers, Lacrimosa, Queen Adreena, Ashley Arrison, Alison Krauss, dance music act One Dove, the Macedonian-German singer Alexander Veljanov, the Japanese bubblegum pop trio Candies, Norwegian singer Elisabeth Andreassen in 2004, Irish American musician Moira Nelligan, British singer Ellie Goulding in 2009 and season 7 American Idol contestant Brooke White, Season 8's Alexis Grace, and also in the third season of Australian Idol by Klancie Keough. The version with Mindy Smith was performed on stage with Dolly Parton, who is also featured in the official music video.
- Las Chicas Del Can covered this song in the 1980s.
- Mindy Smith covered "Jolene" in 2003 both for her debut album One Moment More and the Dolly Parton tribute album Just Because I'm a Woman. The Song has also been parodied by Australian satirical comedy show The Chaser's War on Everything. The title was altered to "Pauline" in a reference to former One Nation Party leader Pauline Hanson.
- The chilean cumbia compositor Paskual Ramirez made a 'spanish-translated' cover with cumbia rhythms, partially based on the translation made by Las Chicas del Can for the LP: "Fantasía Vol. 1" (1991) and a Techno-cumbia re-arrangement of the cover for the disc "Paskual y su Alegría - Internacional" (2000). His mate Claudia sang in the 1st version and his daughter Eva sang in the 2000s rearrangement.
In 2011 was also played at some concerts of Fiona Apple.
In 2012, The Little Willies covered the song on their album "For the Good Times" with Norah Jones on lead vocals.
In 2012, Brandi Carlile covered this song on her Bear Creek tour.
In 2012, Miley Cyrus (Parton's goddaughter) performed a version in a "Backyard Sessions" video found on Cyrus' official website.
In 2012, Sandra van Nieuwland, a Dutch singer, covered this song for her album 'And More'.