Dolly Parton vaccine song: lyrics to new Jolene version, why she wears long sleeves – and does she have tattoos?

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Watch as Parton sings a revised version of Jolene before receiving the Moderna Covid vaccine that she helped to fund

Country music icon Dolly Parton has received a dose of the Covid vaccine that she helped to fund.

Parton, who is 75-years-old, was inoculated with the jab developed by Moderna after singing a revised version of her hit song Jolene.

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In a video posted on Tuesday 2 March, she can be seen wearing a long-sleeved top with cut-out shoulders and her signature fingerless gloves before a doctor gives her the injection.

Dolly Parton was credited with helping to fund the Moderna vaccine (Vanderbilt Health)Dolly Parton was credited with helping to fund the Moderna vaccine (Vanderbilt Health)
Dolly Parton was credited with helping to fund the Moderna vaccine (Vanderbilt Health)

She was credited with helping to fund the vaccine after donating a huge sum to Vanderbilt University Medical Centre last year.

So, why did Parton donate to coronavirus vaccine research, what are the lyrics to her vaccine song - and why does she wear long sleeves?

Here is everything you need to know.

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What are the lyrics to the Jolene vaccine song?

To mark the occasion when she received her vaccine, Parton changed the lyrics to her song Jolene.

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In the video, filmed from the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, the star breaks into song.

To the iconic tune of Jolene, perhaps her most famous hit of all time, Parton sings: “Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, I’m begging of you, please don’t hesitate.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, because once you’re dead, then that’s a bit too late.”

The musician told fans in the clip that she had been “waiting a while” to receive her jab.

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She said: "I'm old enough to get it and I'm smart enough to get it.”

Parton added that she was “dead serious about the vaccine” and getting normal life back would be a “great shot in the arm”.

“I just want to say to all of you cowards out there - don't be such a chicken squat. Get out there and get your shot,” the singer urged.

After she received her jab, Parton commented: “That didn’t hurt”.

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How much did Dolly Parton donate to fund the Moderna vaccine?

Parton, whose net worth is said to be $500million, donated no less than $1million to help to fund the production of the Moderna vaccine.

A portion of the singer’s generous donation went towards funding an early-stage trial of the jab.

In initial trials, the Moderna vaccine was found to offer almost 95 per cent protection against coronavirus.

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When Moderna, an American company, announced the efficacy of its jab, Parton was named as a donor.

A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine refers to support from different groups including the “Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)”.

Back in April 2020, Parton announced that she had donated the substantial sum to Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, based in Nashville, Tennessee, to support coronavirus vaccine research.

The star’s donation also supported a convalescent plasma study at Vanderbilt, which involved treating infected people with the plasma of others who already had virus antibodies.

Why did she help to fund the jab?

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Parton revealed why she made the generous donation last year, referring to her “longtime friend” Dr Naji Abumrad who works at the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology and Inflammation at the university.

He had told her that the institute was making “some exciting advancements” in the search for a Covid-19 cure.

The country music icon then decided to donate towards the work in the hope that other people would follow suit.

Speaking to BBC’s The One Show, she said: “I’m sure many, many millions of dollars from many people went into that [research fund] but I felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that hopefully will grow into something great and help to heal this world – Lord knows we need it!”

Why does Dolly Parton wear long sleeves?

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Parton’s outfit choice in the video is typical of the country music star.

Her long sleeves and fingerless gloves have become a signature look for the singer over the years.

Fans have always wondered why Parton opts to wear long sleeves at all times, with some speculating that it is to cover up her many flower and butterfly tattoos.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Parton once commented on rumours that she wears them to cover up her body art.

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“Most of the tattoos, when I first started, I was covering up some scars that I had, ‘cause I have a tendency to have keloid scar tissue, and I have a tendency where, if I have any kind of scars anywhere, then they kind of have a purple tinge that I can never get rid of,” she said.

“So mine are all pastels, what few that I have, and they’re meant to cover some scars. I’m not trying to make some big, bold statement.”

Parton also told Good Morning America that she wanted to get rid of the purple look from the scarring and she thought decorating them with tattoos would be a good option.

But Parton may adorn long sleeves and gloves simply because she is uncomfortable with how her arms and hands look as she grows older.

Her creative director, Steve Summers, once told InStyle that “she doesn’t like her elbows”.

“[They ask] ‘what’s wrong with her hands?’ She’s 73, and she doesn’t like them,” Summers added.

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