Dolly Parton breathes new life into “These Old Bones” today, as the 2002 track from her Halos & Horns album becomes the basis for an episode of her new Netflix series, Heartstrings.
Based on a lady Dolly knew growing up, as well as her own family, the song tells the story of a mountain woman who foretells the future by scattering a bag of bones.
“We had that gift of clairvoyance in our family,” Dolly tells ABC Audio. “It’s been known all the way back. I even have a little bit of it myself, whether it’s just your intuition and all.”
“But my mother was very much so,” she adds, “and I had an aunt that was really very big on that. In fact, I based it more on that.”
Oscar nominee Kathleen Turner plays “Old Bones” in the movie reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird, as the elderly woman goes on trial.
“Who knew that some city girl… would be able to play such a great old mountain woman like that?” Dolly asks. “But she did a wonderful job, and I just am so proud of that whole show.”
Dolly confesses the respected actress called on her for advice.
“She’d say, ‘Say this line for me. How would you say that in the country?’” Dolly explains, before revealing Turner does have some country cred. “I think she had some relatives that were kind of from the country, so it wasn’t totally foreign to her.”
“Being such a great actor,” Dolly continues, “she just…made it her own. She even went to the library and found…some old Egyptian chants… kind of like talking in tongues, had her own little language she worked out.”
You can check out Kathleen Turner’s unforgettable Heartstrings performance on Netflix now.
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