Dolly Parton made Stephen Colbert cry on The Late Show this week when she performed an emotional version of the song “Bury Me Beneath the Willow.” Stephen broke down in tears during the October 20 episode as the two chatted via video call in line with social distancing guidelines.
In a video posted to Twitter, the country music legend shared that her mom used to sing the track to her and her siblings when she was young and would pick songs from all over the world to get them familiar with music.
“Mama was a good singer too, and she would just sing a capella all the time,” she explained per Just Jared, admitting that many of the tracks her mom performed were very sad.
“It was about a girl that was going to get married, and her boyfriend left her at the altar or whatever, so she died, of course. She killed herself, I suppose,” Dolly said of the song before she launched into a few verses.
The CBS late night host became visibly emotional as he watched her sing and took off his glasses to wipe away his tears. Dolly asked if he was crying.
“Like a lot of Americans, I’m under a lot of stress now, Dolly! You got under my tripwire right there… That was pretty beautiful,” he responded.
— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) October 21, 2020
Dolly said that the song also made her teary when her mother used to perform it for her.
“Mom would cry, we’d cry, those old songs were just amazing,” she said.
Plenty of fans shared their thoughts in response to the Twitter video. Many praised the Steel Magnolias actress and admitted her stripped-back performance also brought them to tears.
“Something about her wonderful voice that gets to the heart of everything,” one person said, also praising Dolly for her “incredible” songwriting skills.
“We started [crying at] the same time [Stephen],” another tweeted.
Dolly is currently doing the media rounds to promote two new projects, her latest Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas, and her new book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics.
The teary moment came after the star recently opened up about her body in another interview. She revealed the truth about long-standing rumors claiming she’s covered in tattoos which is why she always wears long sleeves.
Dolly denied having tattoos from head to toe, but confirmed she does has a couple of inkings and explained their heartfelt meanings.