The “Secret Song” Dolly Parton Regrets Locking Up in a Time Capsule Until She’s 99 Years Old

In 2015, Dolly Parton recorded a song, then buried in a time capsule that won’t be opened until 2045. Since locking away her secret song, Parton has had second thoughts about leaving it unheard for so long. “I have written a song that nobody’s going to hear until I’m 99 years old,” Parton told Kelly Clarkson in 2022. “And I might be there. I might not be.”

The song was also written by Parton in 2015, the same year she debuted her Dollywood DreamMore Resort in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee as a marketing tool.

“You have no idea how that has bothered me,” said Parton of her mystery song. “I want to dig that up so bad. It’s a really good song. It would be a song that will never be heard until 30 years from the time we opened the resort. She added, “They said, ‘You’ll be long dead.’ I said, ‘Well, maybe not. I’ll be 99. I’ve seen people live to be older than that. So I wrote this song, and I can’t say what it is.”

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[RELATED: The Story of Dolly Parton’s Secret Song, Set for Release in 2045]

The country legend first revealed the secret song in her 2021 memoir Songteller: My Life in Lyrics and said that having it locked away for so is “burning” her up inside.

“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,” said Parton. “It’s just burning me up inside that I have to leave it in there. Hopefully, it will play and the whole thing ain’t rotted.”

Buried along a cassette and CD player, along with instructions to play it and other relics of the time, the song is locked in a Dream Box made of chestnut wood honoring her late uncle, mentor, and early collaborator Bill Owens, who died in April 2021 at age 85 and is on display in the lower lobby of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa.

[RELATED: 3 Songs Dolly Parton Wrote With Her Uncle Bill Owens for Other Artists]

“It’s kind of weird or strange that they would ask me to write this mystery song,” said Parton. “I don’t know if I want to live to be 100 or not, but you never know.”

On The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2023, Parton was asked about the secret song again, Parton said she’ll be around for its unveiling. “You know me,” she told Fallon. “I might still be hopping.”

Fallon added, “You can do that. You’ll be there.”

Parton said “I keep wanting them to let me dig it up and put something else in there that is not as good. If any of you are around when they open my box,” Parton said to the audience and viewers, “I hope you enjoy my song.”

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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