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Beyoncé rewrites Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ lyrics to reference Jay-Z cheating scandal on ‘Cowboy Carter’

Beyoncé has rewritten Dolly Parton‘s ‘Jolene’ lyrics, seemingly to reference the Jay-Z cheating scandal.

Queen Bey has just dropped her new ‘Cowboy Carter‘ album today (March 29), which was reported to include a cover of Parton’s iconic hit. However, fans have discovered Beyoncé has actually rewritten ‘Jolene’ and its lyrics to address Jay-Z cheating on her.

‘Jolene’ now refers to someone trying to “come between a family and a happy man”, with Beyoncé singing in the chorus: “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene / I’m warnin’ you, don’t come for my man / Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene / Don’t take the chance because you think you can”.

Beyoncé’s ‘Jolene’ cover also sees her reaffirm her love with her husband, with whom she tied the knot in 2008, after having dated since roughly 2002: “We’ve been deep in love for twenty years / I raised that man, I raised his kids / I know my man better than he knows himself”.

In the original song, Dolly Parton thought she “can’t compete” with ‘Jolene’. But this time round, Beyoncé has a more empowering perception of herself: “Jolene, I know I’m a queen, Jolene / I’m still a Creole banjee bitch from Louisianne (Don’t try me)”.

Listen to Beyoncé’s rendition of ‘Jolene’ below:

Fans speculated Jay-Z may have cheated on Beyoncé back in 2016, when she released ‘Lemonade‘ and specifically took aim at ‘Becky With The Good Hair‘. The rapper later admitted his infidelity on his own record ‘4:44‘.

Beyoncé unveiled the news of her new album a month ago, surprise dropping two songs ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ and ’16 Carriages’ in February and announcing the record in an ad at the Super Bowl. It forms part of a trilogy, with 2022’s ‘Renaissance‘ acting as its first part.

Though ‘Cowboy Carter’ is considered a second act, a producer has recently revealed it was actually made before ‘Renaissance’: “Imagine having this timeless, classic music first and having to wait, and then she came up with ‘Act I’.”

Upon announcement of her new album, Beyoncé received backlash from artists such Azealia Banks, who described her new music as “white woman cosplay” and adding that she is “setting herself up to be ridiculed”.

Beyoncé went on to address some of the backlash on Instagram, writing: “This album has been over five years in the making. It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t. But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive.”

However, Dolly Parton herself has given Beyoncé’s country pivot her blessing, saying: “I’m a big fan of Beyoncé and very excited that she’s done a country album.”

In other news, the release of ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ has made Beyoncé the first Black woman to top the Country charts. Beyoncé has also become the first woman to top both the Hot Country Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hip Songs charts since they began in 1958.

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