Dolly Parton destroyed a woman’s life in 1974. In two minutes and forty two seconds, Jolene turned an entire generation of music fans against a husband-stealing jezebel, and the tune’s enduring power proves you should never, ever cross one of the 20th century’s most capable songwriters.
That’s a roundabout way of saying that Parton won, in the long-run. There was no reason for her to ever reference Jolene outside of song ever again, given the fact she and husband Carl Dean are still together.
But nearly fifty years after first committing Jolene to record, Parton decided to unleash one last insult, a final “suck my ass!” to the most famous romantic enemy in pop music history.
Taking to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Parton said she actually saw the real-world Jolene not long ago, and claimed “she’s not so hot now.”
At this point, it doesn’t even matter if the anecdote is true – and there’s very little chance Parton, a world-famous star, would cross paths with her former bank teller. All that matters is Jolene was, is, and will always be our enemy.
You can read more about the real-world inspiration for the song here.