One of Dolly Parton’s biggest hits came from a moment of pure boredom.

In the country icon’s new book, Dolly Parton, Storyteller: My Life in Lyrics, she recalls how she wrote the 1980 hit ‘9 to 5’ while on the set of the 1979 movie of the same name.

According to a preview of the book shared by People, Parton got the idea for the song while she was bored backstage waiting for her character’s scene to be filmed.

Dolly Parton in a scene from the film ‘9 to 5’.

“The thing I hate about the movies is all the waiting-around time,” she writes.

“I realised on the set of 9 to 5 in 1979 that I had to do something besides just sitting there. I couldn’t play my guitar — I didn’t want to disrupt everything on the set by making music.”

Parton continued on to reveal another creative way she found to make music.


“So I would just click my nails, making them sound like a typewriter. Then I used that sound as my music. I started writing ‘9 to 5’ on the set of the movie that way,” she continues.

“I’d go back to my hotel every night and put down what I had written that day, playing my guitar and getting it on tape. Over a long period of time, I wrote the song on my nails.”

“9 to 5,” featured on Parton’s 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs album, went on to win two Grammy Awards for Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance. It also earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.


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