- When Dolly Parton Initiated “Daddy Come and Get Me” and What It’s About
- This song is based on two true stories
- Why “Daddy Come and Get Me” is Dolly Parton’s saddest song ever written
Dolly Parton is known for her sad songs. In fact, in his 2020 book, Dolly Parton, songwriter: My Life in Lyrics, she also wrote: “I guess sometimes I should be sued for writing such pathetic songs… I write a lot of sad songs, and some of them are so pathetic.” However, one of the saddest came in 1970. The song is called “Daddy Come and Get Me” and the story it tells is truly heartwarming. Here’s what Desh Ki Rani had to say about the provocative song.
‘Daddy Come and Get Me’
Parton first released his 1969 LP. Presented on “Daddy Come and Get Me” the fairest of them all. In the early weeks of 1970, it climbed the charts, reaching the number 40 slot. Parton co-wrote the song with his aunt, Dorothy Joe Hope (especially in his early career, Parton often wrote with family members). The song tells the story of a woman who is driven mad by the man she loves. He puts her in a mental institution “to receive” [her] out of his way. And she is begging her father to come to her rescue.
“Oh daddy, come and get me, and take me home with you. I depend on you, daddy, because I can’t do anything else. And you said I could come to you if I ever needed to.” I am. But papa, I can’t come to you. You have to come to me.”
Dolly Parton on ‘Daddy Come and Get Me’ Based on Two Women She Really Knew
What’s heartbreaking is that the song is based on two real women the “9 to 5” singer knew growing up.
“I wrote this with my Aunt Dorothy Joe,” Parton wrote. “We both knew a story back home about a very nervous and emotional woman who was driven mad by a man. He was having an affair. And because this woman was so crushed and broken, he put her in a mental institution. We knew this woman, and she didn’t have much family to stop this from happening. He put her in that institution just to get him out of the way so that he could move on with his life. “
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But the “Jolene” singer didn’t know just one woman who had been unfairly institutionalized by the man she loved.
“Later, I knew someone in Nashville who had the same thing,” she wrote. “It was a situation that no one knew how to handle. This song was based on those stories.”
Dolly Parton says ‘Daddy Come and Get Me’ is one of the saddest songs she’s ever written
Parton wrote that “Daddy Come and Get Me” was “one of the saddest songs I’ve ever been a part of.” The theme is disturbing, of course, but what makes it worse is that the song is based on a true story.
“We thought, How sad would it be to reach out to your father to say, ‘I’m looking through these iron bars in this mental institution. How could he put me here? How could he go so far? ‘” Parton wrote. “Apparently, she couldn’t call her husband. You can always count on your parents, though in the song you can’t tell if daddy will be able to save him or not.”
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Although “Daddy Come and Get Me” is actually one of Parton’s most “pathetic” songs, she had a lot of fun writing it.
“We loved writing that song,” she wrote. “During some of my happiest times, I’ve written some of my saddest songs, and vice versa.”