Dolly Parton's 10 Best Songs of All Time

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We really couldn't adore Dolly more. As a songwriter, performer and even an actor, she's proven herself worthy time and again. She holds a number of career milestones -- 25 gold, platinum, and multiplatinum awards, 41 career Top 10 country albums, and eight Grammys, just to name a few -- but more than that, she holds the hearts of country-music lovers everywhere.

So with so many accolades, it would be unjust to make Dolly share a Throwback Thursday list with other artists. She just kills the competition, so we compiled a list of her hits all her own to salute to the country-music legend.

After all, in Dolly's own words, "Its hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world." And we'd just hate to hurt anyone's feelings.


10. "Love Is Like a Butterfly"
This song is the epitome of what Dolly symbolizes: the lyrics about how delicate love is are soft, kind and really quite beautiful without ever being overbearing about the message. The first single and title track off Dolly's 1975 album, it became her signature song for quite a while and was used as the theme song to her syndicated music series, Dolly!. Perhaps that's why it became such a huge hit, but it hasn't remained a song of the '70s, either.

Miley Cyrus, Parton's goddaughter, has covered it on a number of stops on her "Bangerz!" tour, which has obviously given some new life to the old tune. Even Dolly herself brought out the old hit recently, when she sang it in a 2012 duet with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.


9. "The Bargain Store"
How often has something Parton did been deemed controversial? Not often, unless you count "The Bargain Store." Dolly wrote this 1975 song about a woman in an ill-fated relationship, and while that hardly seems controversial, a line from the song -- which was apparently quite innocent -- was deemed otherwise.

You see, the problem was that Dolly used secondhand clothing as a metaphor for the relationship, and when the line, "You can easily afford the price," hit the airwaves, people mistook it for a thinly-veiled prostitution reference. It was pulled from the airwaves, but still managed to hit the top of the charts. People love Dolly, and rightfully so; a little line mistaken for some lovin' by the hour won't stop them.


8. "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right"
While people mistakenly took "The Bargain Store" as a sexually explicit song about some quick lovin', this song is actually about the female narrator calling up an old friend to suggest an illicit one-time tryst to ease her loneliness. But despite its being much more overtly sexual, it was played on country stations across the nationwide and went on to top the charts.

Only Dolly could have pulled off that bait and switch with the two songs, eh? That's precisely why we adore her.



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2 comments
Jo Ann Hemenway
Jo Ann Hemenway

Love her. Islands in the stream is still one of my favs!

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Yeah...  You gotta put I will always love you over Jolene.  The song was #1 on the Country charts not only in 1974, but also in 1982 when she wrote it for BLWIT.  And then it went #1 on the Billboards with Houston's version in 1992.  3 decades where the song hit #1 each time. 

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