Stephen Colbert had no idea that innocently asking how Dolly Parton's mother, Avie Lee, inspired the 74-year-old's love of music and songwriting would result in a mini-acapella concert. "It's my quiet time; I just go into that little zone, and I just feel like I can express myself in ways that I don't need a doctor for, I don't have to have therapy, I can just kind of sing it all out, write it all out".
The talk show host laughed and said to the singer, "Like many Americans, I am still under a lot of stress".
Dolly Parton was the featured virtual guest on Tuesday's episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where the country singer/songwriter was promoting her forthcoming autobiography/coffee table book, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, due out next month. "I'll say right there... it was pretty lovely".
"You got under my tripwire right there", he said. The country legend previously said in a statement that recording "Mary, Did You Know?" especially moved her. "Mama used to sing all those old songs brought over by the old world", Parton said. "Mama would cry, we'd cry..."
"In a nutshell, it's a sad song about a desperate girl who wants to die and be buried under a weeping willow tree so that her former fiancé, who cheated on her and is now with someone else, will perhaps weep for her under the tree." the Grass Clippings blog states.
"Isn't it humorous that typically there's nothing happier than a cry?"
"Yeah, I think that cleanses your soul", Parton answered.
After her impromptu performance, she and the audience watched as Stephen began to tear up and he removed his glasses to wipe his eyes. Water is good to wash it out. "That's what it's for, I think".