Beyoncé turned ‘Jolene’ into a fiery confrontation — and Dolly Parton is here for it

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More than 50 years after Dolly Parton released one of her most famous songs, we're still singing about Jolene.

Beyoncé put her own fiery spin on Parton’s classic 1973 country song "Jolene" on her country-flavored album “Cowboy Carter," released March 29.

Instead of "begging" Jolene not to steal her man, as Parton did in the original, Beyoncé issues a terrifying "warning," telling Jolene to stay away from her husband and family with a reimagined update to the song.

How Beyoncé's 'Jolene' changes Dolly Parton's original — and why (MASON POOLE Mason Poole / PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT LLC. / Getty Images)
How Beyoncé's 'Jolene' changes Dolly Parton's original — and why (MASON POOLE Mason Poole / PARKWOOD ENTERTAINMENT LLC. / Getty Images)

Parton reacted to Beyoncé's performance with a message on X, writing, "Wow, I just heard Jolene. Beyoncé is giving that girl some trouble and she deserves it!"

The country legend signed off, "Love, Dolly P."

Parton hinted weeks ago that Beyoncé would be releasing a cover of "Jolene," telling Knox News on March 11, “I think she’s recorded ‘Jolene’ and I think it’s probably gonna be on her country album, which I’m very excited about that."

"I love her! She’s a beautiful girl and a great singer," she added.

The country music legend revealed to Trevor Noah two years ago on "The Daily Show" that she wanted Beyoncé to cover "Jolene."

"Wouldn't that be killer? I think she's fantastic and beautiful, and I love her music," said Parton. "I would just love to hear 'Jolene' done in just a big way kind of like how Whitney (Houston) did my 'I Will Always Love You.' Someone who can take my little songs and make them like powerhouses."

"That would be a marvelous day in my life if she ever does do 'Jolene,'" she added at the time.

Now, Parton maintains a similar enthusiasm in "Dolly P," a short intro that plays on the album before Beyoncé’s rendition of “Jolene."

Parton's spoken-word intro connects the auburn-haired Jolene to "Becky with the good hair" — the "hussy" Beyoncé called out on her landmark 2016 album "Lemonade," which explored the complex emotions a woman experiences after suffering through a partner's betrayal.

Tough new lyrics, a confrontational new tone and a chummy guest spot from Parton are only the beginning. Read on to learn more about the changes in Beyoncé’s exciting new cover of “Jolene."

Dolly Parton compares Jolene to ‘Becky with the good hair’ in a guest intro

In a 22-second track before Beyoncé's "Jolene," Parton herself introduces the cover. During the spoken-word "Dolly P," Parton sounds like a close girlfriend of Beyoncé's, addressing the singer as “Miss Honey B."

The country music legend continues showing solidarity by pointing out that Beyoncé's "Becky with the good hair" — who the singer alluded to as a mistress during her 2016 track "Sorry" — is another home-wrecking "hussy" like Jolene.

“Hey Miss Honey B, it’s Dolly P. You know that hussy with the good hair you sing about?” Parton says, “Reminding me of someone I knew back when, except she has flaming locks of auburn hair, bless her heart. Just a hair of a different color but it hurts just the same.”

Beyoncé switches up the lyrics by ‘warning’ Jolene to stay away

In Beyoncé's rendition of the song, the narrator hammers home that Becky, er, Jolene, may want to steal her man but she’s never going to succeed.

For starters, there's no "begging" in Beyoncé's version. No, she's "warning" Jolene to stay away from her partner. The tone here is 100% fired-up and confrontational.

“Jolene, Jolene, I’m warning you, don’t come for my man," she sings.

The former Destiny's Child member also repeatedly demonstrates her willingness to throw down if push comes to shove.

“I can easily understand why you’re attracted to my man/ But you don’t want this smoke, so shoot your shot for someone else," she sings.

She goes on to tell Jolene, “I had to have this talk with you ’cause I hate to have to act the fool/ Your peace depends on how you move, Jolene.”

Yikes! And just in case that wasn't clear, Beyoncé issues another warning.

“Jolene, I know I’m a queen/ Jolene, I’m still a Creole Banjee b---- from Louisianne," she sings, adding, "Don't try me."

Beyoncé’s narrator knows she’s the one with all the power

Parton's original "Jolene" told the story of a woman terrified to lose her man. The narrator knows Jolene has a winning hand and could ruin her relationship, so each verse is tinged with desperation, asking Jolene not to.

"You could have your choice of men/ But I could never love again/ He’s the only one for me, Jolene/ I had to have this talk with you/ My happiness depends on you/ And whatever you decide to do, Jolene," Parton sings.

But Beyoncé's narrator knows she has power in the situation.

Just like her 2016 album "Lemonade," which brimmed with all the complementary and sometimes conflicting emotions of a woman processing a partner's betrayal, the tone of Beyoncé's update of "Jolene" is almost scarily nuanced.

One of the most striking moments in the song is when Beyoncé's narrator reveals to Jolene that she knows she's irreplaceable. What's more, her man knows it too.

"We've been deep in love for 20 years/ I raised that man, I raised his kids/ I know that man better than he knows himself," she sings.

In short, she is the matriarch at home, and she knows her “man” would be lost without her, and no matter what's happened between them in the past, she knows her man has learned this lesson.

‘Jolene’ lyrics, compared

Dolly Parton's 'Jolene'

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

I’m begging of you, please don’t take my man

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

Please don’t take him just because you can

Your beauty is beyond compare

With flaming locks of auburn hair

With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green

Your smile is like a breath of spring

Your voice is soft like summer rain

And I cannot compete with you, Jolene

He talks about you in his sleep

And there’s nothin’ I can do to keep

From cryin’ when he calls your name, Jolene

And I can easily understand

How you could easily take my man

But you don’t know what he means to me, Jolene

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

I’m begging of you, please don’t take my man

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

Please don’t take him just because you can

You could have your choice of men

But I could never love again

He’s the only one for me, Jolene

I had to have this talk with you

My happiness depends on you

And whatever you decide to do, Jolene

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

I’m begging of you, please don’t take my man

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

Please don’t take him even though you can

Jolene, Jolene

Beyoncé's 'Jolene'

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

I’m warnin’ you, don’t come for my man (Jolene)

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

Don’t take the chance because you think you can

You’re beautiful, beyond compare

Takes more than beauty and seductive stares

To come between a family and a happy man

Jolene, I’m a woman too

Thе games you play are nothing new

So you don’t want no hеat with me, Jolene

We’ve been deep in love for twenty years

I raised that man, I raised his kids

I know my man better than he knows himself (Yeah, what?)

I can easily understand

Why you’re attracted to my man

But you don’t want this smoke, so shoot your shot with someone else (You heard me)

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

I’m warnin’ you, woman, find you your own man

Jolene, I know I’m a queen, Jolene

I’m still a Creole banjee bitch from Louisianne (Don’t try me)

There’s a thousand girls in every room

That act as desperate as you do

You a bird, go on and sing your tune, Jolene (What?)

I had to have this talk with you

‘Cause I hate to have to act the fool

Your peace depends on how you move, Jolene

Me and my man crossed those valleys

Highs and lows and everything between

Good deeds roll in like tumblin’ weeds

I sleep good, happy

‘Cause you can’t dig up our planted seeds

I know my man’s gon’ stand by me, breathin’ in my gentle breeze (Ah)

I crossed those valleys

Highs and lows and everything between

Good deeds roll in like tumblin’ weeds

Good and happy

‘Cause you can’t dig up them planted seeds

Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene

I’ma stand by her, she will stand by me, Jolene

This article was originally published on TODAY.com