Why Dolly Parton Describes Herself as a ‘Song Teller’

<p>Dolly Parton offered a glimpse into her songwriting with 2020’s Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. What, exactly, is a songteller, though? The “I Will Always Love You” artist described the term and why it fits so well with her <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/music/”>music</a> career. </p>

<h2>About Dolly Parton’s book, ‘Songteller: My Life in Lyrics’ </h2>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-custom-image-1200″><img decoding=”async” width=”2500″ height=”1627″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Dolly-Parton-1.jpg?w=1200″ alt=”Dolly Parton performs onstage in London as part of her ‘Backwoods Barbie’ world tour” class=”wp-image-3422098″ srcset=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Dolly-Parton-1.jpg 2500w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Dolly-Parton-1.jpg?w=640&h=417 640w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Dolly-Parton-1.jpg?w=768&h=500 768w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Dolly-Parton-1.jpg?w=1024&h=666 1024w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Dolly-Parton-1.jpg?w=1536&h=1000 1536w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Dolly-Parton-1.jpg?w=2048&h=1333 2048w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Dolly-Parton-1.jpg?w=1200&h=781 1200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Dolly-Parton-1.jpg?w=92&h=60 92w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Dolly-Parton-1.jpg?w=150&h=98 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 2500px) 100vw, 2500px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Dolly Parton performs onstage in London as part of her ‘Backwoods Barbie’ world tour | Leon Neal/AFP via Getty Images</figcaption></figure>

<p>Parton is a published author, co-writing <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/dolly-parton-releases-new-album-run-rose-run.html/”><em>Run, Rose, Run</em></a><em> </em>with James Patterson. In 2020, the Queen of Country published<em> Songteller: My Life in Lyrics</em> — detailing her journey as a songwriter and describing the story behind some of her biggest hits.</p>

<p>“I’m so thrilled to be collaborating with Chronicle Books on <em>Songteller</em>,” Parton said in a statement. “A songteller is what I am, and this is my first-ever book of lyrics. So, I’ve revisited my memories and opened up my archives to share the stories and treasures behind them in a way I never have before. It’s going to be a beautiful book!”</p>

<p>The book was co-written by Robert K. Oermann, and also included Parton’s own definition of a “songteller.”</p>

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<div class=”jetpack-video-wrapper”><iframe loading=”lazy” title=”Dolly Parton – 9 To 5″ width=”925″ height=”694″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/UbxUSsFXYo4?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share” allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

<h2>What is a ‘Songteller’? Here’s what the Queen of Country said about the nickname</h2>

<p>Parton is the Queen of Country and a self-described “songteller.” This term was a fitting title for her book, she explained, because of her relationship with writing, performing, and recording music. </p>

<p>“I decided to call my book <em>Songteller</em> because that pretty much sums me up,” Parton wrote. “I love songs, I love to tell stories, and most of all, I just love to write. It’s just who I am. I am a ‘song teller.’”</p>

<p>“My preference is to take time off to do nothing but write,” she continued. “But that’s a luxury I don’t have much anymore.”</p>

<p>Parton continues to release music today, including 2023’s “Peace like a River” with Dionne Warwick.</p>

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<div class=”jetpack-video-wrapper”><iframe loading=”lazy” title=”Dolly Parton – Jolene (Audio)” width=”925″ height=”520″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ixrje2rXLMA?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share” allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

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<h2 id=”h-does-dolly-parton-write-her-own-songs”>Does Dolly Parton write her own songs?</h2>

<p>According to the Grammy’s <a href=”https://www.grammy.com/news/songs-dolly-parton-wrote-whitney-houston-kenny-rogers” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>website</a>, Parton estimates <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/dolly-parton-says-no-one-makes-her-write.html/”>she has written</a> close to 3,000 songs over her 7-decade long career. On Spotify, she’s credited a a performer and songwriter on some of her biggest hits, including “Jolene,” “9 to 5,” “I Will Always Love You,” and “Coat of Many Colors.” </p>

<p>Parton sometimes performed and recorded hits by other artists, with Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil listed as co-writers on “Here You Come Again.” She even wrote Tina Turner’s “There’ll Always Be Music.” </p>

<p>“I love to <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/dolly-parton-more-successful-productive-women.html/”>write songs for men</a>,” Parton noted in <em>Songteller.</em> “And it’s a good thing I do because back then, there weren’t that many women in the country-music business to write songs for. Especially ones who weren’t writing their own songs, like Loretta Lynn was.” </p>

<p>She noted that she didn’t have “space” to write for female artists, so she intentionally wrote male-centered songs — or originals “that could go either way. Now, Parton’s <em>Songteller</em> is available at most major booksellers, including Target and Amazon.</p>

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