Song of the Day #1,325: ‘I Will Always Love You’ – Dolly Parton

At the risk of turning this into a Whitney Houston theme week, I thought I’d give some props to the woman who wrote and originally performed the song we’ve all heard ad nauseum since Houston died.

Dolly Parton must be making a fortune these days from the royalties she earns on ‘I Will Always Love You.’ Talk about a gift that keeps on giving. The day Kevin Costner suggested Whitney Houston cover this track for the soundtrack to The Bodyguard, he lined Ms. Parton’s pockets for years to come.

I prefer Parton’s performance of this song to Houston’s, mostly because I prefer understatement to overstatement. I’m not a fan of big voices in general — I prefer the comfortable intimacy of Dolly’s vocals.

This is actually my second favorite version of the song, however, with Lauren Graham’s Gilmore Girls performance (featured on the blog nearly two years ago) coming in first.

If I should stay
Well I would only be in your way
And so I’ll go, and yet I know
That I’ll think of you each step of my way

And I will always love you
I will always love you

Bittersweet memories
That’s all I have and all I’m taking with me
Good-bye, oh please don’t cry
Cause we both know that I’m not what you need

But I will always love you
I will always love you

And I hope life will treat you kind
And I hope that you have all
That you ever dreamed of
Oh I do wish you joy and I wish you happiness
But above all of this, I wish you love
I love you, I will always love you

I, I will always, always love you
I will always love you
I will always love you
I will always love you

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,325: ‘I Will Always Love You’ – Dolly Parton

  1. Dana says:

    I’m not crazy about this song in either version, though I tend to agree that the understated performance by Dolly works better than Houston’s version.

    And it is rather ironic, I think, that Dolly is making a new boat load of money from the sales of this song following Houston’s death. I had suggested the other day that she really should consider giving the profits to a drug rehab center or some other charity. Don’t you think?

  2. peg says:

    I agree that understated performances always appeal to me more too; and I do like this version better. Interesting idea Dana about donations to some charity that helps the addicted; maybe she is and we just haven’t read about it.

  3. Amy says:

    I won’t give another lukewarm endorsement to this version. I adore the way Dolly sings just about anything, including this song. That said, this isn’t my favorite rendition I’ve ever heard Dolly do of this song. I could do without the cheesy spoken part in the middle. But I do love the vibrato in her voice (or at least I think it’s the vibrato that I love). As for her philanthropy, she is best known (as I learned from a quick Google search) for her efforts to preserve the bald eagle and to combat illiteracy (a cause dear to her heart, as her father didn’t know how to read). So I say she should take all the money she earns from this song and do whatever the hell she wants with it. I trust her instincts!

  4. Amy says:

    This is a great one. The song starts at about 1:45, but you don’t want to skip Dolly and Burt acting! 🙂

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