Dolly Parton’s Best Quotes of All Time: Advice on Life and Love

by Lauren Boisvert
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(Photo by Quentin Jones/The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)

America’s sweetheart Dolly Parton has shared a lot of wisdom over the years (just don’t ask her how many years). She’s got quotes on life and love, advice for keeping your finances straight, and sometimes just plain makes us laugh out loud. She grew up a small-town girl and became in international country star, making a name for herself in the only way she knew how: by staying true to herself and her vision. Here are her greatest quotes, compiled into a handy list when you need a pick-me-up from the country queen herself.

Dolly Parton Quotes for Life

  • “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, pave a new one.”
  • “I have to not harden my heart, because I want to stay open to feel things […] I’m just a person; I like to experience whatever the feeling is and whatever I’m going through.”
  • “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
  • “You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”
  • “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
  • “If you see someone without a smile today, give ’em yours.”

On Keeping Your Head Up When You’re Underestimated

  • “I always count my blessings more than I count my money. I don’t work for money. Never did.”
  • “I look like a woman but I think like a man. I’ve done business with men who think I’m as silly as I look. By the time they realize I’m not, I’ve got the money and gone.”
  • “I’m not going to limit myself just because people won’t accept the fact that I can do something else.”

Dolly Parton Quotes On Looks

  • “People say ‘how you stay looking so young?’ Well, I say, good lighting , good doctors, and good makeup.”
  • “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”
  • “I’m not offended by all of the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb… and I also know that I’m not blonde.”

When People Think You’re Done, Prove Them All Wrong

  • “After you reach a certain age, they think you’re over. Well, I will never be over. I’ll be making records if I have to sell them out of the trunk of my car. I’ve done that in my past, and I’d do it again.”

Dolly On Dolly

  • “Never ignore your roots, your home, or your hair.”
  • “A loose tongue can lead to broken teeth.”
  • “Anyone who says you can’t take it with you has never seen me pack!”
  • “I tried every diet in the book, I tried some that weren’t in the book, I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.”
  • “My songs are like my children, I expect them to support me when I’m old.”
  • “It cost a lot of money to look this cheap.”
  • “My weaknesses have always been food and men- in that order.”
  • “People always ask me how long it takes to do my hair. I don’t know, I’m never there.”
  • “Mama said ‘that ain’t nothing but trash’ and I thought ‘That’s what I wanna be Mama! I wanna be trash!'”
  • “I was the first woman to burn my bra—it took the fire department four days to put it out.”

Dolly Parton has the quotes to get us through our tough times; she knows just what to say, and she’s definitely said it. Dolly knows who she is, and what she’s capable of, and that’s a lesson we can all learn from. She’s an icon, and a national treasure, and why hasn’t anyone put out a book of just Dolly Parton quotes yet? Well, I got it started for you, but Dolly is adding to it every day.

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