Mark your calendars, country fans! Dolly Parton‘s new song comes out in… 23 years. In a newly released clip from the country music icon’s appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show a couple weeks ago, Parton opened up about the top-secret song she wrote and buried in a time capsule seven years ago — and confessed that she really, really wants to go dig it up.
Sitting down with Kelly Clarkson a few weeks ago, Parton talked about how the song, written and recorded for the 2015 opening of her Dollywood DreamMore resort, has driven her crazy for years. “You have no idea how that has bothered me,” the “Jolene” singer told Clarkson on Dec. 1. “I wanna go dig that up so bad. It’s a really good song!”
“I don’t know whose damn idea that was,” she joked. “They weren’t expecting me to be there at all, and I probably won’t be. I might be there, who knows. I figure it’ll probably disintegrate and nobody will ever hear it, that’s what bothers me. If it rots in there before they open it.”
Parton first announced the song’s existence in her 2020 book Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, revealing that it will come to light when her theme park staff opens up the time capsule on the resort’s 30th anniversary in 2045 — meaning, she will be 99 years old when people finally hear it. The “Jolene” singer wrote that putting the mysterious track in the capsule felt “like burying one of my kids, putting it on ice or something, and I won’t be around to see it brought back to life.”
“It’s just burning me up inside that I have to leave it in there,” she added at the time.
The 10-time Grammy winner’s Kelly Clarkson Show appearance also featured a surprise live performance of “9 to 5,” sung as a duet with Clarkson after the two recorded a new version of the 1980 hit for the movie Still Working 9 to 5. During the show, Parton also opened up about the very first time she ever heard Whitney Houston’s iconic cover of her classic hit “I Will Always Love You.”
“I was just driving along, and I had the radio on,” Dolly recalled. “It’s one of those things, it was like a dog hearing a whistle. ‘What is that?’ That’s the first time — they hadn’t sent it to me or nothing. When it went into, ‘And I …,’ I just freaked out.”
“I had to pull over to the side, because I honestly thought I was going to wreck,” she added. “It was the most overwhelming feeling, and you know how great that was.”
Watch Parton chat with Clarkson about her secret track in the video above.