Dolly Parton is being celebrated in song—a rewritten version of her own “Jolene”—for her contribution to an experimental coronavirus vaccine.
Northeastern University associate English professor Ryan Cordell posted a video on Twitter of himself performing a tweaked version of Parton’s signature song, renamed “Vaccine,” that has drawn tens of thousands of views on Twitter and YouTube, according to the Associated Press.
The lyrics—“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / I’m begging of you, please go in my arm / Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / Please just keep me safe from COVID harm”—were written by linguist and author Gretchen McCulloch, who posted them online and invited people to record them.
“I love that song. I love Dolly Parton. And I don’t know—I was inspired,” Cordell told the Boston Globe. “So I went and grabbed my guitar.”
Parton’s $1 million gift in April to Nashville’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center helped researchers develop Moderna’s experimental coronavirus vaccine, according to an announcement this month.
The positive reaction to his video from doctors, nurses and other medical professionals is particularly gratifying, he said.
“And that’s really amazing because those folks are under so much pressure and stress, and especially right now as hospitals are getting overwhelmed,” Cordell said. “And so if they watched the video, and it made them happy for a minute, that’s all I need.”