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What Is "Jolene" About? Beyoncé's Dolly Parton Cover Has the Most Iconic Lyrics Ever

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Digging Into Bey's Iconic "Jolene" LyricsInstagram

Beyoncé just dropped her highly-anticipated and immediately legendary cover of "Jolene," Dolly Parton's iconic song about a woman who's straight up trying to steal her boyfriend. So naturally the time has come to dive into the lyrics.

Beyoncé's New Lyrics

[Intro]
(Jolene)
(Jolene)

[Chorus: Beyoncé]
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I'm warnin’ you, don't come for my man (Jolene)
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Don't take the chance because you think you can

[Verse 1: Beyoncé]
You’re beautiful, beyond compare
Takes more than beauty and seductive stares
To come between a family and a happy man
Jolene, I'm a woman too
Thе games you play are nothing new
So you don't want no hеat with me, Jolene
We've been deep in love for twenty years
I raised that man, I raised his kids
I know my man better than he knows himself (Yeah, what?)
I can easily understand
Why you're attracted to my man
But you don't want this smoke, so shoot your shot with someone else (You heard me)

[Chorus: Beyoncé]
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I'm warnin' you, woman, find you your own man
Jolene, I know I’m a queen, Jolene
I’m still a Creole banjee bitch from Louisianne (Don't try me)

[Verse 2: Beyoncé]
There’s a thousand girls in every room
That act as desperate as you do
You a bird, go on and sing your tune, Jolene (What?)
I had to have this talk with you
'Cause I hate to have to act the fool
Your peace depends on how you move, Jolene

[Bridge: Beyoncé, Beyoncé & Choir, Choir]
Me and my man crossed those valleys
Highs and lows and everything between
Good deeds roll in like tumblin' weeds
I sleep good, happy
'Cause you can’t dig up our planted seeds
I know my man's gon' stand by me, breathin' in my gentle breeze (Ah)
I crossed those valleys
Highs and lows and everything between
Good deeds roll in like tumblin' weeds

Good and happy
'Cause you can't dig up them planted seeds
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

I'ma stand by her, she will stand by me, Jolene

[Outro: Beyoncé & Choir]
I'ma stand by him, he gon' stand by me
(I'ma stand by her, she gon' stand by me)
I'ma stand by him, he gon' stand by me, Jolene

via Genius.

Dolly's Original Lyrics

[Chorus]
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I'm beggin' of you, please don't take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don't take him just because you can

[Verse 1]
Your beauty is beyond compare
With flaming locks of auburn hair
With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green
Your smile is like a breath of spring
Your voice is soft like summer rain
And I cannot compete with you, Jolene

[Verse 2]
He talks about you in his sleep
And there's nothin' I can do to keep
From cryin' when he calls your name, Jolene
And I can easily understand
How you could easily take my man
But you don't know what he means to me, Jolene

[Chorus]
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I'm begging of you, please don't take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don't take him just because you can

[Verse 3]
You could have your choice of men
But I could never love again
He's the only one for me, Jolene
I had to have this talk with you
My happiness depends on you
And whatever you decide to do, Jolene

[Chorus]
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
I'm begging of you, please don't take my man
Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
Please don't take him even though you can
Jolene, Jolene

via Genius

So, What's the Song About?

Dolly's original lyrics were inspired by a bank teller who flirted with her husband Carl Thomas Dean. As Dolly put it to NPR back in 2008, "She got this terrible crush on my husband. And he just loved going to the bank because she paid him so much attention. It was kinda like a running joke between us—when I was saying, 'Hell, you're spending a lot of time at the bank. I don't believe we've got that kind of money.' So it's really an innocent song all around, but sounds like a dreadful one."

"She had everything I didn't, like legs—you know, she was about 6 feet tall," Dolly added. "And had all that stuff that some little short, sawed-off honky like me don't have. So no matter how beautiful a woman might be, you're always threatened by certain... You're always threatened by other women, period."

Meanwhile, Beyoncé kept the melody and theme of the song largely the same—though the fresh lyrics seem to be specifically be about her and Jay Z (who she's been married to since 2008) with new references to family and kids and even the amount of time they've been together.

Anyway, good luck to everyone named Jolene IRL! Your peace depends on how you move:)

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