Dolly Parton’s departing love song to old friend Porter Wagoner, “I Will Always Love You,” is a celebrity unto itself. It’s a wonder the track doesn’t have its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not only is Parton one of the world’s most well-known and beloved songwriters and performers, but “I Will Always Love You,” thanks to Parton and Whitney Houston, has enjoyed a life of its own.
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To quote Bob Dylan, the “times they are a-changin’.” Enter Artificial Intelligence. The new, fast-rising technology is all the rage thanks to the platform ChatGPT.
Below, we played around with AI and asked it to write a new unique song all its own in the style of Parton’s classic. Let’s check out the results.
I Will Always Love You
Written and recorded in 1973, Parton’s hit was released a year later and twice topped the Billboard country charts.
If I should stay
Well I would only be in your way
And so I’ll go, and yet I know
I’ll think of you each step of the way
And I will always love you
I will always love you
Most have heard the song so many times, we can picture it and hear Parton or Houston belting out the ode. But when it comes to ChatGPT, the AI chatbot began the song differently. Yet, it still showed some of Parton’s signature style, beginning with a reference to the mountains, where Parton is famously from, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
In a song it titled “Love’s Farewell,” AI offered this:
In the mountains, where the rivers flow,
Where the wildflowers bloom and the soft winds blow,
I found a love that I thought would never fade,
But now it’s time to say goodbye, my heart betrayed.
I will always love you, through the tears and the pain,
Through the memories we shared, like drops of gentle rain.
Though our paths may separate, and our worlds drift apart,
I’ll hold you in my soul, forever in my heart.
As you can see, Artificial Intelligence took the song in a different direction than Parton’s. Instead of the singer leaving the subject, in “Love’s Farewell,” the singer is being left by the subject. Through the “pain,” the singer will remain loving the subject. Whereas with Parton, she was the one leaving Wagoner and, thus, hoping to assuage his pain. Not the other way around.
In the second and third verses, Parton sings,
That’s all I’m taking with me
Good-bye, please don’t cry
‘Cause we both know that I’m not
What you need
And I hope life, will treat you kind
And I hope that you have all
That you ever dreamed of
Oh I do wish you joy
And I wish you happiness
But above all this
I wish you love
I love you
I will always love you
For the bot, the second verse expresses more affection but also the reality that the two must part.
You were my shelter, my guiding light,
A flame that burned so bright, through the darkest night.
But seasons change, and so do we,
And I must find the strength to set you free.
ChatGPT gives the song a bridge and an outro,
As I walk away, the echoes of our laughter,
Remind me of the love we shared, forever after.
But sometimes love means letting go,
And finding the strength to face the unknown.
So, goodbye my love, may your dreams take flight,
I’ll cherish the moments we had, every day and every night.
Though we’re saying our goodbyes, our love will never fade,
I will always love you, my heart will never stray.
The bot’s song is sad—pulls at your heartstrings. And it would be great to hear a few performers take on the offering. The subject is leaving and the singer has to accept that, hard as it is.
Who knows, this song might be the anthem of writers as they see their jobs disappear thanks to ChatGPT. We kid, we kid! Kind of.
Photo by Tom Hill/Wire Image