Kathryn Williams & Carol Ann Duffy pen Christmas ode to Dolly Parton

Singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams and former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy have joined forces on a new Christmas album titled ‘Midnight Chorus’ – listen to their Dolly Parton-inspired song ‘Dear Lord’ below.

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The duo initially met while performing at the Niddfest Festival in 2016, becoming friends shortly after. Earlier this year, they were on a working holiday at Scottish creative writing centre Moniack Mhor. When they left the centre, they had two and a half songs that they had worked on together, which marked the start of ‘Midnight Chorus’.

The album includes uplifting festive numbers ‘All Ye Doubtful’ and the more sombre opener ‘Hang Fire’. Lead single ‘Snow Angel’ is a reflective and tranquil song about playing in the snow as a child. ‘Dear Lord’, meanwhile, is a prayer to a higher being to meet a hero, in this case, Dolly Parton. Speaking to The Times, Duffy says it’s about “that kind of tongue-in-cheek wish that everyone has, at some stage in their life, to meet a hero.”


Listen to ‘Dear Lord’ here:

In the same interview, Williams discussed her partnership with Duffy: “Our roles crossed over. It wasn’t just like, ‘Here’s the lyrics.’ Carol Ann has a real musical sense and [suggested] a lot of the melodies and the ideas for instrumentation.”

Duffy added: “Kathryn had a lot of input in the lyrics as well. I have complete faith in her melodic genius. I could almost anticipate what it would be before I heard it. She’s kind of got that early Beatles gift.”

In recent Dolly Parton news, the singer and her Smoky Mountain businesses raised $700,000 to help residents impacted by floods in Tennessee.


The flood relief funds were raised by donating a portion of ticket sales from her Dollywood theme park and her Pigeon Forge dinner show properties – Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction, Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show and Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud – during the October 2-3 weekend.