Dolly Parton’s celebrating her 78th birthday on Friday (Jan. 19) with a surprise deluxe release of her acclaimed rock album, Rockstar. The 39-track collection features nine new songs, including a soul-stirring rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
Parton approaches the timeless ballad with careful restraint in the beginning, assuming the role of a storyteller whose primary purpose is to deliver the persona’s promise of unwavering companionship.
“When you’re weary / Feeling small / When tears are in your eyes / I will dry them all / I’m on your side / Oh, when times get rough / And friends just can’t be found,” she sings tenderly over piano keys.
Gradually, the tempo picks up and a soaring choir arrives to augment Parton’s chill-sending, emotion-packed delivery of the sentimental ode.
“Like a bridge over troubled water / I will ease your mind / Yes, I will ease your mind / Like a bridge over troubled water / Like a bridge, like a bridge I will ease your mind,” goes the heartwarming chorus.
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” was released by Simon & Garfunkel in 1970 as the second single off their fifth and final studio album of the same title. Since its rollout, the inspirational tune has been covered by a slew of music superstars, including Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, LeAnn Rimes, Whitney Houston and John Legend.
Parton’s rendition is off the expanded collection of Rockstar. Of the surprise rollout, Parton says, “It’s my birthday so I’m going to give you a present! I’m releasing four never released songs for my birthday, to go with the Rockstar album, and a few others that you may have heard before that were not on the album.”
“I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you all have a happy birthday for me! LOL,” she adds in the statement, before signing off, “Thanks for everything.”
Rockstar (Deluxe) is out now wherever you listen to music.
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