Dolly Parton’s “Potential New Boyfriend” Is One Of The Realest Songs She Ever Recorded

Dolly Parton country music
Dolly Parton

Let ’em know, Dolly.

Dolly Parton is of course the queen of country, but she also brought in elements from plenty of other genres throughout her career, from pop to bluegrass, she never shied away from pulling inspiration from wherever her heart desired.

Her 2023 rock and roll album Rockstar is very recent proof of that…

But there’s one song of hers in particular that I think was way ahead of its time, that sounds like a 1970’s disco anthem called “Potential New Boyfriend.”

Written by Steve Kipner and John Lewis Parker, Dolly included the song as the lead (and only) single from her 1983 Burlap & Satin album. It peaked at #20 on the U.S. country singles chart, and was also her first song to be more successful on a non-country music Billboard chart, when it peaked at #13 on the Dance Club Chart and #20 on the Hot Country Songs Chart.

Yes, it was a pretty big crossover success.

In addition, the music video that accompanied “Potential New Boyfriend” was one of the first Dolly ever made, and was directed by Steve Barron. There was also a popular dance remix single of the song that was released and became a staple in discos and dance clubs in the mid-80’s, which I can only dream of now but sounds like my kinda party, but I digress…

And while the song obviously had success because of the fun, easy to dance to beat and production, the lyrics are some of the realest she ever sang (that she didn’t write herself, of course).

I mean, if the first verse doesn’t sum up the experience of being out somewhere with your friends, seeing an attractive guy and then proceeding to imagine an entire life with someone who you don’t even know the first name of perfectly, I don’t know what does:

“Got my eye on a boy
He’s eying me back
It’s looking real good
This could be it
But I know that all of you girls
Would love to steal him away

He bought me a drink
I thanked him real sweet
It’s always so nice when you first meet
And I know that all of you women
Would love to steal him away
So I’m warning you”

If you’re as delusional as I am when it comes to men and things of this nature, I promise, this will be your new favorite song… and the key word “potential” is so important here:

“Better keep your hands off my
Better keep your hands off my
Better keep your hands off my potential new boyfriend
Building up an appetite
You can look but you can’t buy
Better keep your hands off my potential new boyfriend”

If you know, you know. She just gets it. Like I said, Dolly was ahead of her time and you need to add it to your playlist ASAP.

Long live queen Dolly:

“Potential New Boyfriend”

The studio cut:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock