At this point, Dolly Parton’s songwriting prowess is almost common knowledge. Over the years, Dolly has penned some of the most iconic songs in country music. Some of those went on to have massive crossover success. For instance, “9 to 5”, “Coat of Many Colors”. “Jolene”, and “I Will Always Love You” all came from Parton’s pen. Heck, she wrote “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” on the same day. In short, Dolly is a master of her craft.
However, Dolly Parton is still human. Not every song she writes is a massive success that becomes a cultural touchstone. Nobody has that kind of power in their pen. After all, she has been in the business for more than 60 years and has released dozens of albums and penned thousands of songs. They can’t all be winners.
Back in 2003, Dolly Parton appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien to promote her album For God and Country. During her chat with Conan, Dolly revealed her least favorite songs from her discography.
Dolly Parton’s Least Favorite Songs
Conan O’Brien pointed out that For God and Country was Dolly Parton’s 73rd album. That lead him to ask, “Was there ever one of those 73 [albums] that you regretted? You’ve done so much great work. Was there ever one where you thought, ‘I wish I hadn’t done that one’?”
Dolly Parton was honest. “When you’re a songwriter, you think they’re all good,” she said. Then, she jokingly added, “It’s like how everybody thinks their kids are pretty, even if they’re not.” Parton went on to point out two songs in her least favorite tracks from her massive catalog.
“I’ll Oilwells Love You”
According to Songfacts, Dolly Parton co-penned “I’ll Oilwells Love You” with her uncle Bill Owens. She included it on her sophomore album Just Because I’m a Woman.
“It’s about a man that owned a bunch of oil wells and I was trying to marry him,” she said before singing a few bars of the humorous song. “I’ll oil wells love you / I’ll oil wells care / I’ll oil wells love you / I want your oil wells dear.”
“I Don’t Want to Throw Rice”
Dolly Parton also wrote “I Don’t Want to Throw Rice” with her uncle Bill. She included it on her debut solo album Hi, I’m Dolly. She introduced the song to Conan by singing part of the chorus. “I don’t want to throw rice. / I want to throw rocks at her. / She took the only love I had. / I don’t want to throw rice. / I want to throw rocks at her.”
It’s almost surprising to hear Dolly being so vengeful in a song. There are other lines like “All is fair in love and war, maybe I’m carrying this too far. / But I feel like tying dynamite to her side of the car.” Dang, Dolly. That’s dark.
They had a good laugh about this song before Dolly Parton added, “Yeah, I’ve got some suckers in there, but I’ve got a few good ones.”