Dolly Parton Opens up About the First Song She Wrote at Age 5

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Dolly Parton first song
Terry Wyatt, SiriusXM

Dolly Parton spoke with SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live about songwriting at a young age, admitting she was writing music even before she could write.

Parton has been an icon since the late 1960s when Porter Wagoner brought her on his show. Fans may not know that way before then, Parton was creating her own music. She recently spoke with Absolutely Mindy about how she wrote music — way before her time.

“My first song, I wrote when I was five years old. It was actually before I could write,” Parton says. “My momma kept it, but I could rhyme. And I had — mom and daddy had —we used to raise corn. And we used to kind of can our own foods and all that sort of thing. We grew corn, and we would shell it, and daddy would take it to the mill. So we would always have these little cobs. And I remember this one particular time we’d been shelling corn, so we had the corn tassels, and we had the shucks laying over there. And I wanted a doll.”

“So, anyway, daddy took this cob and he burnt some eye holes in it with the hot poker from the fire and made it some little eyes. Momma wrapped the shucks back around it, made like a little dress, and she put the little corn tassels on top. And I named it ‘Tiny Tassel Top,’ and momma kept it — Because I was always good at rhyming. So it was called Tony Tassel Top, and it would go: (singing) ‘Little Tiny Tassel Top. You’re the only friend I got. Hope you never go away. I want you to stay.’ So that was my first song.”

Parton’s songwriting has progressed since those early days and so has her talent. The country icon just used her talent to release a kids album, I Believe In You, which is out now.

SiriusXM’s Dolly Meets Mindy: A Dolly Parton Special premieres Friday on Kids Place Live channel 78 at 9AM ET.