Dolly Parton Made Stephen Colbert Cry By Singing ‘Bury Me Beneath the Willow’ on ‘The Late Show’

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Rock Cellar Magazine

Dolly Parton is a national treasure.

On Tuesday night, the living legend made an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Most of her video chat focused on the upcoming release of her coffee table book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, as well as her new holiday album, A Holly Dolly Christmas (click here to pick up a copy from our Rock Cellar Store).

But it was another part of the conversation that drew most folks’ attention. During a chat about songs that served as young Dolly’s introduction to songs as storytelling expressions, Parton started singing “Bury Me Beneath the Willow,” a song Dolly’s mother sang to her. This unexpected performance literally brought Colbert to tears, which prompted Dolly to say, “Oh, you’re crying? So I better hush before you cry yourself to death and you can’t finish the show.”

“Like a lot of Americans, I’m under a lot of stress right now, Dolly,” responds Colbert, adding, “You got under my trip wire right there, I’ll tell ya right there. That was pretty beautiful.”

The full interview segment can be seen below (Dolly starts singing around the five-minute mark):

And here’s another bit from her appearance on the Late Show, in which Dolly names some of her own favorite songs:


  • Ron D says:

    It’s always great when the host is so moved by their guest. I can see how that song sung by Dolly made him cry because even I was close to tears and I’m at least another degree of separation from them.

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