Jolene Actually Did Take My Man, and This is What Happened: A Retrospective (Happy 78th to Dolly!)

Jennie Young
3 min readJan 18, 2024
Photo credit: Timothy Wildey, Creative Commons License

I begged her not to take him. I said, “I had to have this talk with you, my happiness depends on you, and whatever you decide to do, Jolene.” But she took him anyway.

Having my man taken was the worst thing I could ever imagine, and I knew at that moment that my life was ruined, so I packed up and went to Nashville and signed a contract with a record label. I was crushed.

I stayed up nights wondering what Jolene was doing with my man.

After the record label and dealing with Nashville and everything, I dabbled in acting a bit, kept singing my songs, just tried to keep myself busy. I even wrote a song about you-know-who, and it rocketed up the charts and got nominated for a Grammy. It didn’t matter, though, because I was so miserable without my man.

I heard Jolene and my man moved into one side of a duplex together back in Tennessee.

Anyway, I guess I didn’t realize how much time and energy I had been spending on my man until Jolene took him because after she did I won 11 Grammys, a Lifetime Achievement Award, ten Country Music Association awards, four People’s Choice Awards, and three American Music Awards. Of course all of it paled in comparison to what Jolene had, which was my…



Jennie Young

Professor and humor writer in Green Bay. McSweeney’s, The Independent, HuffPost, Ms. Mag, Education Week, Inside Higher Ed, Slackjaw, Weekly Humorist, others.