Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton on Her Favorite Song That Isn't Hers and a Daily Act of Emotional Self-Care

TODAY crowdsourced questions for the country icon from our Instagram followers. Here's what some of you asked and what Dolly had to say

Richard E. Aaron

When Dolly Parton recently stopped by TODAY, we crowdsourced some questions for the country icon on the TODAY Instagram account.

“I used to love to go church (when) they had what they call all-day singing and dinner on the ground, where everybody in the church and in the neighborhood — in the community — would bring something different to eat and spread out on these big tables,” she told TODAY while chatting about her new line of cake mixes with Duncan Hines. “All these cakes, pies, puddings, chicken and all that good food that everybody cooked.”

In addition to talking about what she loves to cook, we also asked the 76-year-old some of the burning questions you submitted.

Here's what Dolly had to say:

TODAY: Do you ride the rides at Dollywood?

Dolly Parton: I try not to. I have a tendency to have motion sickness and I always say I don’t like to ride those roller coasters and all that because I’m afraid I’ll lose too much, like my hair, and no telling what else!

Favorite song that’s not yours?

I always loved the song “Sometimes When We Touch.” It's an older song, but I just always loved it.

What is the one question you haven’t been asked that you wish someone would ask you?

Lord, have mercy! I’ve been in this business so long I don’t think there’s a question in this world that I have not been asked. And I guess if it’s something I wanted you to know that you hadn’t asked I would just out and tell you! You know me.

What comes more easily when writing a song: the lyrics or the melody?

Either is fine. They pretty much flow together for me. Usually if I get my guitar, I just start strumming a little bit and all of a sudden, some words start to come. But sometimes, if I don’t have time to write stuff down or if I’ve got a good melody, I’ll try to put that down or I’ll forget that if I don’t put that on tape. So sometimes I’ll have a great line and I’ll go write that down or great title. When I get really serious about writing songs, it just kind of comes pretty good.

On her 1992 film ‘Straight Talk’:

I have to honestly say “Straight Talk” was one of my favorite projects because we were in in Chicago during the summer and I did not know Chicago was such a beautiful city with those huge wide streets and the restaurants were great and we just loved it.

It was just a wonderful summer that we spent doing "Straight Talk." I love that script. Pat Resnick is one of my favorite people and one of my favorite writers. We worked with her on "9 to 5" and several things I’ve worked with her. But we had a great time there as girlfriends, too, hanging out while we were doing that movie.

Dolly Parton In 'Straight Talk'
Archive Photos
Dolly Parton holds a mic in a scene from the film 'Straight Talk', 1992.

In addition to your morning routine, what do you do on the daily to take care of yourself physically?

When I’m on set or working long hours on my lunch break, I take a little nap because if I can even just get 10 minutes, it’ll refresh me. So that’s something I do, too.

A daily practice you do to take care of your mental and emotional health?

Well, I have a very rich spiritual life. I’m not a religious fanatic in any way. I’m more spiritual but a lot of times when things get crazy during the day, I just kind of stop and just kind of draw in God’s energy or that good higher wisdom, whatever you want to call it. Everybody calls it something different.

I just stop sometimes and just be grateful and just say, "Just stop." Just like that Scripture. "Be still and know that I’m God." I always love that. Just stop, be quiet and shut your mouth. Just open your heart, shut your mouth and just let God kind of restore me like that.

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