WATCH: Professor Honors Dolly Parton's Vaccine Donation With 'Jolene' Cover

By Jason Hall

November 19, 2020

A Massachusetts area professor celebrated Dolly Parton's COVID-19 vaccine contributions with a rewritten cover of her signature song.

Northeastern University associate English professor Ryan Cordell accepted the challenge of tweaking the lyrics to 'Jolene' in a renamed version called 'Vaccine,' which has already gotten tens of thousands of views as of Thursday morning.

Author Gretchen McCulloch shared a thread of tweets with revised lyrics, which included the chorus, "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vacciiiiiiiiiiiiiine I'm begging you, please go in my arm."

Cordell responded with a video of himself singing the revised version of the song with the following caption: "I couldn't resist trying it immediately, though I had to sing a bit more quietly than I typically would—for this tune in particular—because my family's all asleep right now. But you can see it scans, good enough for country at least!"

“I love that song. I love Dolly Parton. And I don’t know — I was inspired,” Cordell told the Boston Globe on Tuesday. “So I went and grabbed my guitar.”

Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville helped researchers develop Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine, which reported a 94.5% effective rate on Monday.

Cordell told the Globe he grew up listening to Parton's music thanks to his parents and grandparents and said seeing the 74-year-old perform at the 2019 Newport Folk Festival was one of his "favorite musical memories."

“So I was just thrilled to see this news that she had contributed to COVID vaccine research — I thought that was amazing,” Cordell said.

Photo: Getty Images

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