Dolly composes first song, "Little Tiny Tasseltop," before she could read or write

Since being able to speak in full sentences, Dolly learned to take inspiration from the simplest things. She could easily match a rhyming lyric to a simple melody and turn it into a song. At the age of five, Dolly composed a song called "Little Tiny Tasseltop." The song was a tribute to her precious doll made of a corncob with corn silk hair. Since Dolly couldn't yet read or write, her mother, Avie Lee, wrote down the words as the little songbird sang into her tin can microphone atop a tobacco stick wedged into the boards of their front porch.

Listen: In the audio file below, Dolly Parton sings "Little Tiny Tasseltop."

Little tiny tasseltop,
I love you an awful lot
Corn silk hair and big brown eyes
How you make me smile

Little tiny tasseltop
You’re the only friend I’ve got
Hope you never go away
I want you to stay

You’re my tiny tasseltop
You’re my favorite-est doll
Even if you’re just a cobb
I want you to stay

Although the song may not be a chart-topping hit, it can be credited as the genesis of Dolly's incredible songwriting career.



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