As huge, nerdy fans of a cappella we don’t like to throw around such lofty praise lightly, but we can honestly say that this version of Dolly Parton‘s classic “Jolene” is certifiably aca-awesome, because for this gorgeous rendition of the song the beloved country singer was joined by the band Pentatonix.
National treasure Dolly Parton (whom we guess has a very old-looking portrait of herself hidden away in an attic somewhere) sang lead for this Pentatonix arranged a cappella take on her 1973 song, about a sad and desperate wife pleading with her husband’s mistress to not take him away from her.
“Jolene” was the title track off of Parton’s 13th studio album (the song was released as a single a few months before the album came out), and now it is the newest single from Pentatonix, who are currently on a world tour. They head back to the U.S. on October 17th in San Jose, California before wrapping up in Houston on November 22nd.
Parton is also on her own tour, her first major North American tour in over 25 years, with stops in over 60 cities across the U.S. and Canada. You can find her remaining dates here.
You can also hear what the original version sounded with this live 1975 performance from Parton.
Penatonix is not the first musical act to find inspiration from the song, as it has been covered by numerous artists, including The White Stripes, Olivia Newton-John, and Miley Cyrus.
Uh, we are going to need to hear all of those. Right now.
When a song can be that beautiful (and heart-breaking) across so many styles and decades, you know it’s special. And now it is aca-special.
What do you think of Pentatonix’s take on “Jolene?” Which version is your favorite? It would be aca-awesome if you told us your thoughts in the comments below.