Girish Mahajan (Editor)

9 to 5 (Dolly Parton song)

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November 29, 1980




"Sing for the Common Man"

RCA Studios, Nashville; 1980

"9 to 5" is a song written and originally performed by American country music singer Dolly Parton for the 1980 comedy film of the same name. In addition to appearing on the film soundtrack, the song was the centerpiece of Parton's 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs album, released in late 1980. The song was released as a single in November 1980.


The song garnered Parton an Academy Award nomination and four Grammy Award nominations, winning her the awards for "Best Country Song" and "Best Country Vocal Performance, Female". For a time, the song became something of an anthem for office workers in the U.S., and in 2004, Parton's song ranked number seventy-eight on American Film Institute's "100 years, 100 songs".

The song was accompanied by a music video that featured footage of Parton and her band performing, intercut with clips from the film.


The song 9 to 5 was written for the comedy film 9 to 5, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Parton in her film debut. The song—and film—owe their titles to an organization founded in 1973 with the aim of bringing about better treatment for women in the workplace.

The song is also featured in a musical theater adaptation of the film, featuring a book by the film's original writer, Patricia Resnick, and 20 additional songs written by Dolly Parton. 9 to 5 began previews in Los Angeles on September 9, 2008, and played on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre from April until September 2009 before touring. In 2012, a UK theatre tour of "9 to 5" got underway.

A few months before Parton's song and the film, Scottish singer Sheena Easton released a single called "9 to 5" in the UK. When Easton's song was released in the U.S. the following year it was renamed "Morning Train (Nine to Five)" to avoid confusion. Easton's single reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart three months after Parton's song left that spot. While Parton's song features an empowered (if challenged) working woman, Easton's song features a passive, love-struck woman waiting around at home all day for her lover to return from work.

Although the Parton recording only reached No. 47 in the UK, it remains a popular song on radio and in nightclubs through Britain and was spliced between "Independent Women Part 1" by Destiny's Child and "Eple" by Röyksopp for the Soulwax album As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt. 2.

Commercial performance

The song reached number one on the Billboard Country Chart in January 1981. In February 1981, it went to number one both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary chart, respectively. It became her first No.1 entry on the former.

In peaked at No. 47 in the UK singles chart in 1981. The song has sold 303,511 digital copies in the UK as of July 2014.

Versions and covers

As early as 1995, a slightly remixed version of the song began appearing on Parton's hits compilations, sometimes faded to its original length and sometimes extended to 3:00. In this remixed version, some guitar is louder while background vocals are lower or missing in some places, and in the 3:00 version some of the horns as heard in the film version of the song can be heard towards the end of the track. The 3:00 version of the song is available on "The Essential Dolly Parton" and "Playlist: The Very Best of Dolly Parton" among others.

In 1981, Renée Martel covered this song in French "De 9 à 5" on her album "Un coin de ciel El lute"

In 1981, Kikki Danielsson covered the song on her album Just Like a Woman, and the song remains one of her most famous country music recordings. The song was also covered by Swedish punk band Millencolin and included in their 1999 compilation album The Melancholy Collection, a collection of b-sides and rarities. Mark Wilson also sang "9 to 5" on It Takes Two with Rachael Beck. "9 to 5" was performed with sitar accompaniment in the opening scenes of the 2008 film The Love Guru, sung by the titular character played by Mike Myers; this version appears on the film's soundtrack album.

Melinda Schneider and Beccy Cole covered the song on their album Great Women of Country (2014).

In 2015, American a cappella group Home Free covered the song on their album Country Evolution.

The song appears in The Simpsons episode "I Married Marge".

The song is played in a bar on Season 8 Episode 17 of the comedy Will & Grace.

It also appears in the game Karaoke Revolution Country.

On the children's show, Sesame Street, Parton and this song were spoofed, respectively as Polly Darton, performed by veteran Muppeteer Fran Brill, and "Counting One to Five", about the time that Polly went to school, when her teacher asked her to count to five.

Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1982 album The Chipmunks Go Hollywood.

VeggieTales also covered "9 to 5" on their 2012 album, "Bob & Larry Go Country".

At the beginning of the film The Love Guru, a cover of "9 to 5" is sung by the title character played by Mike Myers.

Kerry Ellis sang the song on two occasions at BBC Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night, the first with John Barrowman.

Remy of Reason TV made an Obamacare remix of the song.

At the end of the Gravity Falls episode Summerween, "9 to 5" played during the credits of the episode with pictures of a pig named Waddles with different memes.

Roger was singing along to this song in the American Dad! episode Bush Comes to Dinner.

The song is featured in the 1987 animated TV movie Down and Out with Donald Duck.

In season 7 of the reality show American Idol, the top nine contestants performed the song.

In 2016, Winn-Dixie reworked "9 to 5" as "Down, Down, Down", in a television campaign advertising the new lower prices store-wide.

In Jock's Life of Mo, the opening song "Man of Mine" is a parody of "9 to 5."

In the 2016 animated film Sing, an unnamed beaver auditions with this song.

Emery Worldwide used a variant of "9 to 5" (as "Emery's On the Case") in commercials airing during the mid-1980s


  • Dolly Parton - vocals
  • Jeff Baxter, Marty Walsh - guitars
  • Abraham LaBoriel - bass
  • Larry Knechtel - piano
  • Richard Schlosser - drums
  • Leonard Castro - percussion
  • William Reichenbach - trombone
  • Tom Salviano - saxophone
  • Kim S. Hutchroft - baritone saxophone
  • Jerry Hey - trumpet
  • Denise Maynelli, Stephanie Sprull - background vocals
  • References

    9 to 5 (Dolly Parton song) Wikipedia

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