Dolly Parton On The Importance Of Her Protest Track ‘World On Fire’


Earlier this month, Dolly Parton released her much anticipated rock album, featuring a number of collaborations and covers with several household names.

The album in question, ‘Rockstar’, was released on November 17.

Including 30 songs overall, the album also features a string of guest performances including, Elton John, Steve Perry, Debbie Harry, Stevie Nicks, Steven Tyler, Paul McCartney, Rob Halford and more.

‘Rockstar’ also includes a cover of classic Beatles’ hit ‘Let It Be’, which arrived earlier this year. More on this here.

“Don’t Get Me Started On Politics” 

However, there is one song which features on the album, written by Dolly Parton which has also come to the public’s attention, and that is the the singer’s lead off single, ‘World On Fire’.

In a recent interview, Parton spoke about the song, which includes lyrics, “Don’t get me started on politics. How are we to live in a world like this?”.

“I write a lot of uplifting songs, but I think World on Fire makes a statement because people often say, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you’re political'”, Parton stated.

“And I’ll respond, Look, I’m not being political here. I’m a person in a position to have a voice and this world is going up in flames. Nobody seems to care enough to get out and do something about it” I’ve written several songs along those lines, but I felt the need to write World on Fire to reflect this point in time.”

She continued, “I think this is an anthem for me, where I am in my life right now, and the things I’m worried about — which are the same things we all need to be worried about and I’m sure we are,”.

“Who’s going to rise up, who’s going to try to make a change, and what are we going to do to make a difference? What I do best is write and sing and get out there and preach my gospel in my own way”. 

Parton Wants To “draw people’s attention”

While accepting that her initial intention for writing this track, was “to have something catchy”, Parton did add that she put it together “to draw people’s attention to things”. 

“You don’t know how much, or if anything, is a help,” she admits. “But when you’re like me, when your heart is tender and you care about human beings and our civilization – the world in general – you feel helpless if you don’t do something. I’m not one to be marching in the streets with a sign or holding a gun or a knife, but my words are my tools and my weapons”, Parton revealed.

She also added, “I try to draw attention, point a finger, and throw some light on dark situations. And I’ll continue to do that. I’ve tried to do that all through the years, even with songs like Light of a Clear Blue Morning or Better Get to Livin. I’m always trying to say, Hey, rise up. Look up. Do better”. 

‘Rockstar’ has also peaked at number 5 in the UK, having debuted at number three in America, becoming Parton’s highest Billboard charting album ever.