Need A New Life Mantra? Try These Dolly Parton Quotes On For Size

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Dolly Parton Quotes
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There comes a time in everyone’s life when they need to lean into wise words from someone far sager. For some of us, that time comes around often — like, multiple times a day. When we’re stuck in a slump, we ask ourselves, “WWDPD?” If that seems like some cryptic code to you, well, it’s time we pass on this sacred query. The next time you’re in a pinch and need a bit of divine guidance, just ponder aloud: What would Dolly Parton do? And to help you on your path to Parton-level enlightenment, we’ve rounded up a bunch of Dolly Parton quotes to serve as words of encouragement in between existential crises.

Just dwell on the subject for a second. Can you think of any figure in pop culture more universally beloved than Parton? No matter which side of the aisle you’re standing on or which line you’re straddling, the entertainer probably charms the heck out of you. When she’s not singing, starring in movies, starting viral social media trends, or RV’ing the country with her husband of three decades (the delightful Carl Thomas Dean), she’s helping to build a new generation of book lovers through her Imagination Library. She’s even teamed up with drag queen Nina West on a “Kindness Is Queen” charity clothing line to further her children’s literacy efforts and support LGBTQ youth.

All of this to say, she’s the best. Need further proof? Keep reading for some of the best, most self-deprecating, funniest, and most insightful words to come out of this icon’s mouth.

Best Dolly Parton Quotes


  1. “I’ve had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are and to love who they love.”
  2. “Everybody has their own journey; they have their own way of doing things. And who am I to judge?”
  3. “He always loved who I was, and I loved who he was, and we never tried to change each other.”
  4. “You don’t have to look like everybody else. You don’t have to be a raving beauty to be special and to be beautiful.”
  5. “People say how you stay looking so young? I say, well, good lighting, good doctors, and good makeup.”
  6. “I always count my blessings more than I count my money. I don’t work for money, never did.”
  7. “I still believe that women should get paid equal and should be treated with respect. I’m all about that. I don’t get out and have to preach it or march in the streets; I write about it.”
  8. “Everybody’s life is a soap opera. Everybody’s life is a country-western song, depends on who’s writing it.”
  9. “If I can hold God’s attention, I can hold the world’s.”
  10. “I have often joked that we had two rooms and a path — and running water if you were willing to run to get it.”
  11. “I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.”
  12. “I’m flashy, and I’m flamboyant. Had I not been a girl, I definitely would have been a drag queen.”
  13. “I look totally artificial, but I am totally real, as a writer, as a professional, as a human being. A rhinestone shines just as good as a diamond.”
  14. “Tumble outta bed, and I stumble to the kitchen. Pour myself a cup of ambition.” — “9 to 5”
  15. “People always say, ‘But you always look so happy.’ Well, that’s Botox! Nobody’s happy all the time. But I work hard at it.”
  16. “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”
  17. “I’m just a working girl. I never think of myself as a star because, as somebody once said, ‘A star is nothing but a big ball of gas’ — and I don’t want to be that.”
  18. “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!”
  19. “You make your choices, you make your sacrifices, and I never looked back. I knew early on that I was going to walk that road until God told me to stop.”
  20. “I always just thought if you see somebody without a smile, give ’em yours!”
  21. “I had a gift of rhyme and a big imagination, and that’s just how I started and how I’m still a-goin’.”
  22. “I make a point to appreciate all the little things in my life. I go out and smell the air after a good, hard rain. These small actions help remind me that there are so many great, glorious pieces of good in the world.”
  23. “I’m not going to limit myself just because people won’t accept the fact that I can do something else.”
  24. “The magic is inside of you; there ain’t no crystal ball.”
  25. “I never have considered myself a perfectionist, but I do think of myself as a ‘professionalist’… I always strive simply to be my very best.”
  26. “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”
  27. “I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb — and I also know that I’m not blonde.”
  28. “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”
  29. “Storms make trees take deeper roots.”
  30. “You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”
  31. “If I see something sagging, bagging, or dragging, I’ll get it nipped, tucked, or sucked.”
  32. “I thank God for my failures. Maybe not at the time, but after some reflection. I never feel like a failure just because something I tried has failed.”
  33. “You can be rich in spirit, kindness, love, and all those things that you can’t put a dollar sign on.”
  34. “I was the first woman to burn my bra — it took the fire department four days to put it out.”
  35. “When I’m inspired, I get excited because I can’t wait to see what I’ll come up with next.”
  36. “My weaknesses have always been food and men — in that order.”
  37. “I walk tall; I got a tall attitude.”
  38. “When I wake up, I expect things to be good. If they’re not, then I try to set about trying to make them as good as I can ’cause I know I’m gonna have to live that day anyway. So why not try to make the most of it if you can? Some days, they pan out a little better than others, but you still gotta always just try.”
  39. “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”
  40. “God and I have a great relationship, but we both see other people.”
  41. “Funny thing is that the poorer people are, the more generous they seem to be.”
  42. “Adjusting to the passage of time, I think, is a key to success and to life: just being able to roll with the punches.”
  43. “We’re all just a bunch of sinners, but we do the best we can.”
  44. “I’m old enough and cranky enough now that if someone tried to tell me what to do, I’d tell them where to put it.”
  45. “I was born with a happy heart, and I try to keep a good attitude. It’s not true that I’m happy all the time because nobody is, and we all go through our things.”
  46. “I just don’t feel like I have to explain myself.”
  47. “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are an excellent leader.”
  48. “I still close my eyes and go home — I can always draw from that.”
  49. “After Momma gave birth to 12 of us kids, we put her on a pedestal. It was mostly to keep Daddy away from her.”
  50. “I feel that sin and evil are the negative part of you, and I think it’s like a battery: You’ve got to have the negative and the positive in order to be a complete person.”
  51. “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
  52. “There’s a scripture that says, ‘A merry heart doeth good like medicine.’ I think that’s true, too.”
  53. “I’m working on my life story. I’m not decided if it’s going to be a musical or a movie with music in it.”
  54. “People always ask me how long it takes to do my hair. I don’t know, I’m never there.”
  55. “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”
  56. “A loose tongue can lead to broken teeth.”
  57. “Never ignore your roots, your home, or your hair.”

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