Can You Complete These Dolly Parton Lyrics From Memory?

By: Beth Hendricks
Estimated Completion Time
7 min
Can You Complete These Dolly Parton Lyrics From Memory?
Image: Wikicommons by Dennis Carney

About This Quiz

She's been called "The Smoky Mountain Songbird" and "The Backwoods Barbie," but anything short of "Country Music Queen" diminishes the impact this singer and songwriter who's been at it since 1967 has had on the industry. Her first No. 1 single, "Joshua," hit the airwaves in 1970, but one of her most popular tunes, "Jolene," didn't come along until three years later. In the years that followed, she worked hard to cross over into the pop circuit, turning "Here You Come Again" into a hit — on both the country and pop charts.

As the decades wore on, Parton found a place in music, television and the silver screen, which has led to 10 Grammys, two nominations for Academy Awards and a coveted place in the Country Music Hall of Fame, to name just a few accolades. In fact, she is one of only a handful of people to have received award nominations from the "Big Four" — the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards and Emmy Awards. Phew! Talk about busy!

But, for Dolly, it always comes back to the music. And, for us, that's exactly what we're looking for! Can you finish these Dolly lyrics? Some are easier than others ("Workin' 9 to 5"); some are a bit trickier ("And I said I'd find a rich man"). Real Dolly fans will nail this quiz, from "Joshua" to "Jolene"! As Dolly once put it, "You'll never do a whole lot unless you're brave enough to try." So, what are you waiting for?

Question 1
Wikicommons by Eva Rinaldi
Parton crooned, "Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene," in her mega-hit of the same name. What line comes next?
"I'm begging of you please don't take my man"
"You're a diva and a queen"
"Why you gotta be so mean?"
"You make me want to scream, scream, scream"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 2004, Rolling Stone named "Jolene" to its list of 500 greatest songs of all time, and it's a monster for sure. The song comes from Parton's album of the same name and earned the singer a Grammy, but not until four decades after its initial release.

Question 2 -
Wikicommons by Eva Rinaldi
One of Dolly's most famous lines ever, "Workin' 9 to 5," is followed by which of these lyrics?
"Looking forward to the weekend"
"What a way to make a livin'"
"I could really use a day off"
"They don't pay me enough to do this"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"9 to 5," originally written for a comedic film of the same name, grew larger than life. It went on to spawn a theater adaptation of the film and a TV series. Parton got more than a day's worth of work out of this one!

Question 3 -
Wikicommons by Kris Harris King
Whitney Houston helped popularize "I Will Always Love You," written by Parton. What follows "If I should stay"?
"Maybe you could go away"
"Could you face another day?"
"I would only be in your way"
"What would you say?"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There's no question that Houston's version brought modern acclaim to this tune that dates all the way back to 1973, when Parton originally wrote and released it herself. Houston's version was included in the soundtrack for the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard," in which she also starred.


Question 4 -
Wikicommons by Kingkongphoto & from Laurel Maryland, USA / CC BY-SA
"She made my coat of many colors," Parton sang. What line follows this one?
"Colors of the entire rainbow"
"Its brightness outshone the sun"
"And I wore it every day"
"That I was so proud of"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Coat of Many Colors" is considered one of Parton's most iconic tunes and, she has said, one of her personal favorites. A replica of the coat hangs in a museum at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Question 5 -
Wikicommons by Photo by Tech. Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby, USAF
"Here You Come Again" was a pop crossover hit for Parton. What comes after the lyric "Here you come again"?
"Just when I've begun to get myself together"
"Breaking my heart in two"
"I was hoping you'd stay gone"
"I don't need you back in my life"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A Grammy winner for best female country vocal performance, "Here You Come Again" was one of Parton's successful pop crossover hits. The song was originally written with Brenda Lee in mind, but when Lee chose not to record it, Parton snatched it up.

Question 6 -
Wikicommons by Josef Just / CC BY-SA
"In your cowboy boots and your painted-on jeans" is a line from "Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That." What is it followed by?
"With a look on your face, oh-so-mean"
"Your clothes are a joke and you're broke"
"All decked out like a cowgirl's dream"
"Why did you wear that to our wedding?"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That," released in 1989, brought Parton a No. 1 on the country music charts. It was a part of her album titled "White Limozeen." Not the correct spelling of limousine, of course, but when you're Dolly Parton you can get away with that.


Question 7 -
Wikicommons by Foto de Tech. Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby, USAF
"Joshua, Joshua." What does Dolly have to say (or sing) after this?
"Ain't you got nobody to call your own?"
"Don't go breakin' my heart again"
"Where, oh where, have you gone?"
"Do you know what you've done to me?"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You'd expect "Joshua" to be about a man, wouldn't you? And, it is, but not in the sense you might expect. It's a story told from the perspective of a young girl who gets to know her curmudgeonly old neighbor.

Question 8 -
Wikicommons by RCA Records
It's not true, but Dolly sings it anyway: "The sky is green." And then what?
"To match the grass beneath our feet"
"The sea is white"
"When you leave me"
"And the grass is blue"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"The Grass Is Blue" is a song released on an album of the same name. The tune itself is all about opposites: "Rivers flow backwards/ Valleys are high/ Mountains are level/ Truth is a lie/ I'm perfectly fine/ And I don't miss you."

Question 9 -
Wikicommons by Union20 at English Wikipedia
Cleanup on aisle 6: "The bargain store is open" is a line from "The Bargain Store." What comes next?
"Don't forget the coupons"
"Come inside"
"Wanna see what's on sale"
"Head for the check-out"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In the song "The Bargain Store," Parton uses the analogy of worn and discarded clothes to describe how women feel after a toxic relationship. She sings, "If you don't mind the fact that all the merchandise is used/ But with a little mending it could be as good as new."


Question 10 -
Wikicommons by Eva Rinaldi
She schools everyone with these lyrics: "My mistakes are no worse than yours." What is that line followed by?
"At least mine are forgiven"
"Just because I'm a woman"
"But you keep bringing it up"
"Why wouldn't you ask"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Just Because I'm a Woman" was perhaps a song before its time. Released in 1968, it describes a man judging a woman for her behavior in previous relationships, even though he has the same skeletons in his closet. You go, Dolly!

Question 11 -
"In my Tennessee mountain home" starts a trip down memory lane. What line follows it?
"Where my mama lived and died"
"We live a country life"
"Life is as sweet as July"'
"Life is as peaceful as a baby's sigh"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In "My Tennessee Mountain Home," Parton recounts memories from her childhood, like "Sittin' on the front porch on a summer afternoon" and "Watch the kids a' playin' with June bugs on a string." The album by the same name was released in 1973.

Question 12 -
"Yellow roses" is the start to the chorus of, well, "Yellow Roses." What comes next?
"They die so fast"
"The color of sunshine"
"The way to my heart"
"They're better than red"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

She could've sung about any flower, but she chose "Yellow Roses." In the tune, she sings that a man asked her out, "Handing me a yellow rose." The song hit No. 1 on the country music charts, her 19th to do so.


Question 13 -
"It's a lesson too late for the learning," according to Dolly. What does she sing next?
"Made of sand, made of sand"
"But we'll just keep trying"
"Can you see the bigger picture"
"Wrapped up with a bow"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Dolly teamed with Porter Wagoner in a cover of Tom Paxton's "The Last Thing on My Mind" in the late 1960s, a successful collaboration for the pair. It opened the door to many other duets for the two country stars.

Question 14 -
What follows the lyric "Islands in the stream," from a song with a famous duet partner?
"Made of sunshine and dreams"
"Flowing back to you"
"That is what we are"
"Bright and blue in the sun"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Bee Gees are credited with writing "Islands in the Stream," though Parton and fellow country singer Kenny Rogers performed it as a duet in the early 1980s. The song was met with critical and commercial success.

Question 15 -
Dolly sang, "Mama never seemed to miss the finer things in life," and followed it up with this line. Which is it?
"She always gave us what we needed"
"If she did, she never did say so to Daddy"
"She couldn't afford them anyway"
"The finer things in life never missed her"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Both Parton and Emmylou Harris released versions of "To Daddy," a song that Parton wrote about her own parents' relationship struggles. Harris' version climbed to No. 3 on The Billboard Hot Country chart.


Question 16 -
Ooooh, Dolly! What follows "And when we get behind closed doors"?
"There's no stopping us now"
"Then we let our hair hang down"
"You never know what could happen"
"We shut the party down"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Written by Kenny O'Dell, "Behind Closed Doors" has been performed by many country singers, including Parton. Dolly's version continues, "Then he makes me glad that he's my man/ And no one knows what goes on behind closed doors."

Question 17 -
"And if I should ever hear" is a line from "Before the Next Teardrop Falls." What follows?
"That she's made you shed a tear"
"You're comin' back 'round here"
"She's made you cry again"
"There's a tear in your beer"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Before the Next Teardrop Falls" was recorded by Parton in the 1990s. It is featured on her album "Treasures," which includes many of her favorite covers. The song begins, "If she brings you happiness/ Then I wish you both the best."

Question 18 -
Wikicommons by John Mathew Smith & from Laurel Maryland, USA
"Banks of the Ohio" sounds serene, but it's intense. "I've killed the one I love tonight" is followed by which of these lines?
"By leaving her on the banks alone"
"After she broke my heart"
"Pushed her into the raging waters"
"Because she would not be my bride"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Banks of the Ohio" is all about a marriage proposal gone wrong. Recorded by Parton for her "Blue Smoke" album, it is considered a "murder ballad," which — thankfully — is a pretty small niche.


Question 19 -
Wikicommons by Eva Rinaldi
Which lyric follows "Well, it's all I can do to keep from falling in love with you"?
"All I can do to love you completely"
"All I can do to avoid your stares"
"All I can do to keep from letting it show"
"All I can do to keep you out of my heart"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A song from Parton's career in the mid-1970s, "All I Can Do" describes the singer's reluctance to fall in love: "It's all I can do to keep from falling in love with you/ All I can do to keep from letting it show."

Question 20 -
Wikicommons by Eva Rinaldi
"Look at mother nature on the run" is part of "After the Gold Rush." What line follows it?
"Tomorrow in the glistening sun"
"In the twenty-first century"
"Raining, snowing, sleet and sun"
"Gotta grab her before she's gone"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"After the Gold Rush," written by Neil Young, is a song about ... well, what IS it about? Turns out, neither Young nor Parton, who recorded a version with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, had any idea!

Question 21 -
Wikicommons by Photo by Allan Light
You tell 'em, Dolly! "Just because I'm blond" is followed by which of these?
"I ain't nobody's fool"
"Doesn't mean I'm not smart"
"Don't think I'm dumb"
"Doesn't mean I have more fun"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Dolly may be known the world over for her blond hair, but in this song she makes it clear: she's no "Dumb Blonde." Of course she's not! She has built an empire, which even includes a theme park!


Question 22 -
Wikicommons by eBayfrontbakc
"How much more damage now honestly" comes before which of these lines?
"Could one tender lie do?"
"Could you do to my heart?"
"Do you think I can handle?"
"Am I supposed to accept?"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Dolly Parton recorded "A Tender Lie" for her album "Little Sparrow." The song details a difficult parting: "As you walk away/ As we say goodbye/ What I wouldn't give/ For a tender lie."

Question 23 -
Wikicommons by Leeann Cafferata from Washington DC and Akershus, Norway
The songbird reminisces in a song, singing, "What I wouldn't give for a little bitty taste." What does she want a taste of?
"Of ham and beans and cornbread"
"Of true love straight from you"
"Of a carefree Tennessee childhood"
"Of Mama's homemade chocolate cake"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Part of the soundtrack for the movie "Rhinestone," "Tennessee Homesick Blues" was written and recorded by Parton in 1983. In this song, Parton is thinking back on her life in Tennessee while she's in the big city.

Question 24 -
Wikicommons by Kris Harris King
Parton has a confession here: what comes after "Just to see him smile"?
"Makes me do what I do"
"Is all the reason I need"
"Makes my life worthwhile"
"I'll change my hairstyle"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Parton recorded this song alongside Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt for the group's "Trios" album. The lyrics to "To Know Him Is to Love Him" were written by Phil Spector, inspired by an inscription on his father's headstone.


Question 25 -
Wikicommons by Kris Harris King
In "But You Know I Love You," what is "All that's left behind"?
"The question left unanswered"
"The memories in my mind"
"A chain of broken dreams"
"The times we spent together"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"But You Know I Love You" tells the story of an individual who is sad about living life on the road and loving someone from afar. We're sure Parton and plenty of other musicians understand this all too well!

Question 26 -
Wikicommons by John Mathew Smith & from Laurel Maryland, USA
"We got real love/ Not infatuation," Dolly sings, in "Real Love." What comes next?
"Real love/ Our hearts' celebration"
"Real love/ Not aggravation"
"Real love/ A conflagration"
"Real love/ A world's configuration"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Real Love" is another duet recorded by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, their second collaboration to reach the top of the country music charts. Years later, Parton recorded a solo version.

Question 27 -
Wikicommons by Kris Harris King
"Hello, are you free tonight?" Dolly asks in "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right." What does she sing next?
"I was thinking maybe you were"
"You were on my mind"
"Would you like to come over?"
"I like your looks, I love your smile"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"It's All Wrong, But It's All Right" is one of Dolly's more risqué tunes, in which she essentially places a — ahem — booty call. Hey, men have been singing about it for years; you do you, Dolly!


Question 28 -
Wikicommons by DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby, U.S. Air Force
"Two doors down they're laughing and drinking and having a party" leads Dolly to this next line. Which is it?
"And two doors down I'm puttin' on my boots"
"And two doors down they're not aware that I'm around"
"And two doors down I wish they'd be quiet"
"And two doors down I'm all by myself"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Two Doors Down" is Dolly's take on the aftermath of a breakup. She's in an apartment and can hear a party happening "two doors down," so she sings about it, saying, "But here I am crying my heart out, feeling sorry/ But they're having a party just two doors down."

Question 29 -
Wikicommons by John Mathew Smith & from Laurel Maryland, USA
"This red hot emotion puts fireworks in motion," has Dolly all fired up. What line is next?
"It looks like the 4th of July"
"Baby, light me up!"
"Fireworks shooting off at night!"
"Light a torch for me"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You've got to go back to 1978 for this Parton tune, "Baby I'm Burnin'." The song also has the lines, "Baby I'm burnin' out of control baby/ I'm burnin' body and soul/ Hot as a pistol that flamin' desire/ Baby I'm burnin' you've got me on fire/ I'm on fire."

Question 30 -
Wikicommons by Curtis Hilbun
What line follows "These old bones will tell you surely" in "These Old Bones"?
"Everywhere I've been"
"Times of peace and struggle"
"Stories of my past"
"What you can't see with your eye"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 2002, Parton released "These Old Bones" as part of her "Halos & Horns" album. The first three lines of the song mention the title: "These old bones will tell your story/ These old bones will never lie/ These old bones will tell you surely."


Question 31 -
Wikicommons by Leeann Cafferata from Washington DC and Akershus, Norway
Dolly sings, "And I said I'd find a rich man" in one of her songs. What comes next?
"And I'd give him my heart"
"And I'd love my way to fame"
"And I'd spend it, spend it, spend it"
"And I'd push him in the grave"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Years before she released "I'll Always Love You," Parton sang “I’ll Oil Wells Love You," a type of parody song about finding and falling in love with a rich oilman: "He owned a lot of oil wells and his bankroll sure was healthy/ And I knew if I married him I'd suddenly be wealthy."

Question 32 -
Wikicommons by CBS Television
In "Peace Train," the songstress sings, "Get your bags together." What line follows it?
"Pack whatever you need"
"Choo choo, a choo choo"
"Go bring all your good friends, too"
"And climb aboard the train"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Peace Train" is something of a spiritual reflection on a more peaceful world to come: "Now I've been smiling lately/ Thinking about the good things to come/ And I believe it could be/ Something good has begun." The song was written by Cat Stevens, who also released it as a single.

Question 33 -
Wikicommons by English: Tech. Sgt. Cherie A. Thurlby, U.S. Air Force
Aw, snap! Dolly sings, "You ask me not to wear cologne," because why?
"She'll lose your mind on you"
"You're allergic to my sweetness"
"It gives away our romance"
"She'll know you've been with me alone"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Dolly seems to be admitting an affair in the song "Cologne": "You ask me not to wear cologne/ She'll know you've been with me alone/ And you can't take our secret home/ So you ask me not to wear cologne." Of course, maybe she was singing it for a friend.


Question 34 -
Wikicommons by Eagledj
"A young couple marries, already fighting." What does Dolly sing next?
"Wondering if they made a mistake"
"Wishing they could go back in time"
"Along comes baby, makin' them three"
"Never knowing who's listening"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Parents' impact on their children is the subject of "What Will Baby Be," another Dolly recording. In it, she sings, "A young couple marries, already fighting/ Along comes baby, makin' them three/ Trouble's all he hears from the time he's in didies/ Baby don't know just what to believe."

Question 35 -
Wikicommons by Eva Rinaldi
What line follows "The darkest night can be made light" in "Shine On"?
"If you only stop and dream"
"By the light of God's love"
"In the sunshine of the day"
"By one bright word or smile"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Shine On" is an uplifting tune from Parton's 1998 album, "Hungry Again." In it, she sings, "The gift of love divine/ God gave us all a special gift/ He meant for it to shine." We love the positivity!

You Got:
Wikicommons by Dennis Carney