Dolly Parton fans aren’t going to behead Jeff Tweedy like Swifties would… but this statement will p*ss off a lot of folks. Wilco’s lead singer and guitarist has some hot takes when it comes to Dolly Parton’s beloved track “I Will Always Love You.”
Earlier this week, Tweedy appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to chat about upcoming projects, music, and to promote his book, World Within a Song: Music That Changed My Life and Life That Changed My Music.
Tweedy begins telling Colbert that this book would not exist if there were not some songs he had a distaste for. While we all have a tune or two we will press skip on, taking a shot at Dolly Parton was not something I saw coming from the “Heavy Metal Drummer” artist.
“The book would’ve sounded really silly if I didn’t take ownership of some things that aren’t for me…and one of them is ‘I Will Always Love You,’ by Doll….”
He trails off before finishing saying Parton’s name as the audience gasps at the statement.
“By Dolly Parton. You hate Dolly Parton.”
Colbert replies, but Tweedy quickly jumps in to say he does not hate Parton by any means… just the 1974 hit.
“No, I love Dolly Parton. All I know is that she wrote “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” in the same day, and I think she should’ve stopped after “Jolene.” I know it’s me, and I know I’m wrong.”
Tweedy can at least acknowledge that he is wrong with this take. The Grammy Award winner then goes on to say that the long drawn-out vowel during the chorus is what does it for him.
“It’s obviously me because I think that people have a natural kind of inclination to reject things that they can’t do. And I can’t hold a note for very long, so that song is dead to me.”
Tweedy is beyond brave, noting beloved songs he does not love throughout the book. Some of the others that made the list include Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” and the Allman Brothers Band’s “Ramblin’ Man.”
Colbert was stunning reading the list to the studio audience, making similar remarks about Tweedy’s bravery.
“I know. This has been a disaster.”
While some classics are on this list, I will admit that the one that hurts the most is Parton’s song. “I Will Always Love You” is a classic.
After hearing this interview, I think we should all collectively agree that “I Will Always Love You” needs to be sung by the audience at all Wilco shows moving forward.
Parton did clear up the rumor that “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” were perhaps not written on the same day during a 2022 broadcast through Clubhouse.
“Well, I don’t really know if they were written in the same night. When we found an old tape, they were on the same cassette. That could have been a few days apart.
But they also wound up on the album. They were certainly written within a very short span of time.”
She said, referring to how both tracks are homed on her 1974 Jolene album.
Put this on max volume and dedicate each play to Jeff Tweedy.