Music

The Song Dolly Parton 'Based on [Her] Husband' Carl Dean

Many of Dolly Parton‘s songs are inspired by the people in her life. She’s been married to her husband, Carl Dean, since she was 20 years old. So he’s, unsurprisingly, provided the Queen of Country with a good amount of inspiration through the years. In her 2020 book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, the “Jolene” singer writes that one of her most romantic songs is “very much based on my husband, Carl.”

Dolly Parton and Carl Dean

Dolly Parton met her husband on her first day in Nashville. She wasn’t looking for a boyfriend — she wanted to concentrate on making her dreams come true — but when the two met in front of the Wishy Washy laundromat, there was instant chemistry. Dean asked Parton out on a date and she said yes. They dated for two years and then crossed state lines to marry in secret (Parton’s record label didn’t want her to get married). They’ve been together ever since.

The song Dolly Parton wrote for her husband, Carl Dean

In her 2020 book, Parton writes that the song “From Here to the Moon and Back” was inspired by Dean.

“This song is very much based on my husband, Carl,” she wrote. “I’m using it in a musical for Broadway that I’m writing. It’s my life story as a musical. This is going to be sung as a duet between the ‘Carl’ character and the ‘Dolly’ character in that.”

‘From Here to the Moon and Back’

Parton originally wrote “From Here to the Moon and Back” for the Joyful Noise movie soundtrack.

“That’s where I got to dance with Kris Kristofferson, which was great,” she wrote. “And it is such a pretty song, if I do say so myself.”

Then, she did it as a duet with Willie Nelson, which ended up on her 2014 Blue Smoke album.

“Willie was doing an album of duets with girls,” she wrote. “He said, ‘I like that song of yours. Why don’t we do ‘From Here to the Moon and Back?’ I said, ‘Okay. I think I can pick that on my guitar.’ And so we did it.”

I would blow you a kiss from the star where I sat
I would call out your name to echo through the vast
Thank heaven for you and to God, tip my hat
From here to the moon and back
And I’ll spend forever just proving that fact
From here to the moon and back

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