What Did Dolly Parton Eat After Writing Her Two Biggest Songs (in One Night)? Hint: it’s Mashed

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Did you know Dolly Parton wrote “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” on the same night?

The legendary singer tells Insider that she did so in the same place in her then-house—on the corner of a couch by a cozy fireplace.

“When I wrote those songs, I remember just sitting in the corner of this couch by this fireplace that was in the first house that Carl [her husband] and I ever owned,” Parton told the outlet. “We lived there for a few years before we built our current home.”

She added, “I just remember that den having so much atmosphere to write. There was just something about that fireplace, the coziness, and that corner. The one corner of the couch where I was always sitting with my feet up, writing and singing my songs.” 

Parton further explained that she likely wrote them early (or late, depending on your point of view) in the day. She said she’s usually up at 3 a.m.

“I don’t need a whole lot of sleep,” Parton said. “I go to bed pretty early, but even if I’ve been up late — it’s just kind of like a little clock inside of me that says ‘it’s 3 o’clock!'” 

She continued, “I do some of my best work there, but I get enough sleep. I don’t require as much sleep as a lot of other people do, that’s kind of a Parton family trait.” 

Okay, okay, enough about sleep. What about meals?

Parton, who has talked about cooking for her goddaughter Miley Cyrus; making mac and cheese with apples, and cooking fluffy scrambled eggs, says potatoes are a major factor while she’s working—if she lets herself take a second to work.

“I don’t remember eating anything on those days!” Parton said about the night writing “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You.” Adding, “Cause when I write, when I really am serious writing, I don’t eat much.” 

Yet, she continued, if she does eat. It’s potato chips.

“If I’m recording, I just eat potato chips,” she explained. “Because the salt is good for my vocal cords. I can sing all day just doing that.” 

But when the songs are done, there is a victory meal. Comfort food.

“I would imagine after I did [finish those songs], I’d probably eat something like a big ol’ bowl of mashed potatoes, mac and cheese—something filling and satisfying.” 

Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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