Dolly Parton typically doesn’t show up to every single summer music festival, like many touring artists and bands do, but she did grace England’s Glastonbury Festival with her presence this year, and in doing so, won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of music fans. At a youthful 68 years, the clever country songstress decided to honor the festival’s host country by whipping out a saxophone and covering the old “Benny Hill Show” theme song, “Yakety Sax.”
It was a good thing she had tricks up her sleeve, since she drew an even bigger crowd than Friday and Saturday headliners Arcade Fire and Metallica. An estimated 150,000 people crowded the muddy farm fields for her first Glastonbury performance ever. She graciously told the crowd, “I’m just glad you came to see me.” Her set included some of her country classic “Why D’You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That,” “9 to 5,” “Jolene,” and “Coat of Many Colors.” She even did a song about the infamous mud that she’d written earlier that morning, with lyrics that went something like, “Mud, mud, mud, mud/ Up to our bums in all this crud.”
Parton continued her personable attitude with the crowd throughout the surprisingly clear and sunny Sunday morning, informing them that she had been waiting for a chance to perform at Glastonbury her entire lifetime. Prior to going on, she told reporters that due to the festival’s timetable, she had to cut the length of her set, which resulted in more upbeat than slow songs.
“I thought, well, I can’t do a bunch of sad, slow songs because everybody is drunk and high and we don’t want to bring them down that bad, so there are two or three songs that they have to hear like maybe ‘Coat of Many Colors’ and a few things that are a part of my whole life and my background,” she said. “But we’ve tried to do a set where we can kind of keep it moving pretty good.”
The cultural icon said she has no plans to stop touring, singing and writing. “I hope to never retire and I’m up there now and I enjoy every bit of it,” she said. “I wake up every day with new dreams, so I feel like I’m just starting out.”