Dolly Parton releases 'Mary, Did You Know?' ahead of new Christmas album

Dolly Parton Christmas single cover, 2020
Dolly Parton Christmas single cover, 2020 | Instagram/DollyParton

Dolly Parton said that recording her latest single — “Mary Did You Know?” — off of her upcoming Christmas album was a very moving experience for her. 

“I got very emotional recording 'Mary, Did You Know?' Parton wrote on Instagram of her new single, released Friday. “It’s the sweetest song about beautiful things being born out of unexpected situations and that’s a message we all need to hear now more than ever."

A Holly Dolly Christmas is set to release on Oct. 2 and the legendary country star told Billboard this month that she desired the album name to be "cute and clever." It was inspired by the classic song, "A Holly Jolly Christmas" by Burl Ives.

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“In these uncertain times, songs of faith have brought me peace and restored my hope,” Parton went on to share on social media. “‘Mary, Did You Know?’ is a reminder to us all year long that there is always hope even when you least expect it.”

The famous song addresses Mary, mother of Jesus. The lyrics were written in 1984 by Mark Lowry and in 1991, Buddy Greene added the music. It was originally recorded by Christian legend Michael English and released on his 1991 self-titled solo album. 

1990 was the last time Parton released a holiday album, titled Home for Christmas.

A Holly Dolly Christmas features several collaborations between Parton and other musicians. Michael Bublé is featured on the song, "Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas." Late-night host Jimmy Fallon surprisingly joins Parton for a rendition of Mariah Carey's smash hit "All I Want for Christmas Is You." The unique collaboration was inspired by Parton’s appearance on Fallon’s show.

"I thought, 'What other songs are really hot?' And I thought, 'All I Want for Christmas Is You.' Jimmy Fallon, a couple of years ago, I was on his show around Christmas and he asked me to sing that and I didn't know it and I felt so bad," Parton recalled, according to PEOPLE. "So I went and learned it and I was just going to put it on my album and then I went, 'I'll ask Jimmy Fallon to sing it with me!' And he said, yes. So I'm really excited about that."

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