It’s a known fact that Dolly Parton’s extraordinary musical talent displays itself in her lyrics, along with her powerful vocal ability that could amplify the range of emotions. This is why we often hear people revealing how her beautiful voice moved them to tears – and Stephen Colbert is no exemption.

The country music legend appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to give everyone a glimpse of her coffee table book Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, which she released in November 2020, along with her Christmas album.

At one point in the interview, Parton reflected on traditional folk songs her mother, Avie Lee, used to sing to her when they were still little kids. Parton then started to sing a portion of one heartbreaking song called “Bury Me Beneath the Willow,” which tells the story of a young woman left behind by her fiancée at the altar. This broke her heart so much that she asked to be buried underneath the willow tree, hoping her man would still think of her.

Much to Parton’s surprise, the late-night host began dabbing his eyes with a tissue.

“Are you crying?” the country singer asked Colbert before hitting the chorus again. “So I better hush before you cry yourself to death and can’t finish the show!”

“Like a lot of Americans, I’m under a lot of stress right now, Dolly!” Colbert answered, adding that her rendition of the song was a beautiful one.

Dolly Parton’s Mother Passed Down Traditional Songs
Dolly Parton‘s impromptu performance came after she recalled how her mother, Avie Lee Owens Parton, handed down traditional songs to her. Her mother, who she described as a “good singer too,” would sing them a capella all the time. “Mama used to sing all those songs brought over from the old world,” she said.

Indeed, only Dolly Parton could turn a discussion about a new book and Christmas album into an emotional cry by just singing bits and pieces of a sad song. You can watch the interview below.