I will always love you

Dolly"s lyrics have sầu a true — and heartbreaking — meaning behind them, but it"s not what you might think.

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Although the lyrics sound like they"re about the kết thúc of a romantic relationship, they"re actually about the kết thúc of a professional one.Dolly wrote the song when she decided to lớn leave Porter Wagoner"s show.

Of all the legendary songs Dolly Parton has written in her illustrious career, "I Will Always Love You" remains one of the most iconic. Dolly"s version hit No. 1 on the charts twice in her career (when she first released the tuy vậy in 1974, & again when she re-recorded it for her 1982 movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas). And of course, the ballad became popular all over again when Whitney Houston recorded a version for the movie The Bodyguard in 1992.

Perhaps the reason that "I Will Always Love You" has struchồng a chord with so many listeners through the years is that it has such strikingly simple, yet heartbreaking, lyrics. It"s the straightforward passion behind the words that make the tuy vậy so timeless:

If I should stayI would only be in your wayAnd so I"ll go, but I knowI"ll think of you each step of the wayAnd I will always love sầu youI will always love sầu you

And yet, Dolly did not write the tuy vậy about a lãng mạn breakup — it was written about a professional one.

In 1973, Dolly had hit a roadbloông xã in her relationship with Porter Wagoner, her mentor and on-screen duet partner. She had agreed lớn star on his TV program, The Porter Wagoner Show, for five sầu years và had done so with great success — but she was ready lớn go out on her own & make her own career. Unfortunately, Porter wasn"t ready to see her go, và they were butting heads over the decision.


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"There was a lot of grief & heartabịt there, & he just wasn"t listening khổng lồ my reasoning for my going," Dolly told CMT baông xã in 2011. "I thought, "Well, why don"t you do what you vày best? Why don"t you just write this song?"... so I went trang chủ và out of a very emotional place in me at that time, I wrote the tuy vậy, "I Will Always Love sầu You.""

The next day, armed with her new tuy nhiên, Dolly walked baông xã inlớn the office & asked Porter if he could hear her out for minute. She sang "I Will Always Love You" lớn hyên — & Porter was overcome with emotion.

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"He started crying," Dolly told the Tennessean in năm ngoái. "When I finished, he said, "Well, hell! If you feel that svào about it, just go on — providing I get lớn produce that record because that"s the best song you ever wrote.""

From there, the rest was history: Dolly eventually left the show, and Porter produced her next record, Jolene, with "I Will Always Love You" on the trachồng list. The tuy vậy became the multiple-time No. 1 hit we know it as today, và Dolly and Porter even went on khổng lồ perform it together at a special Gr& Ole Opry show. She also reportedly sang trọng it khổng lồ Porter one final time, on the day that he died in 2007.

In the end, Dolly says "I Will Always Love sầu You" represents her desire to lớn make it clear to lớn Porter how much she cared about và appreciated him, even though it was time for her to lớn leave the show.


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"It"s saying, "Just because I"m going don"t mean I won"t love you," she told CMT. "I appreciate you và I hope you do great và I appreciate everything you"ve done, but I"m out of here.""

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Heather FinnContent Strategy EditorHeather Finn is the content strategy editor at Good Housekeeping, where she heads up the brand"s social media strategy và covers entertainment news on everything from ABC"s "The Good Doctor" to lớn Netflix"s latest true crime documentaries.
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