9 to 5 (Dolly Parton song)

Not to be confused with "9 to 5" (Sheena Easton song) (also known as "Morning Train (9 to 5)"), which charted the same year.
"9 to 5"
Single by Dolly Parton
from the album 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs
B-side "Sing for the Common Man"
Released November 29, 1980
Recorded RCA Studios, Nashville; 1980
Genre Country
Length 2:43
Label RCA Nashville
Writer(s) Dolly Parton
Producer(s) Gregg Perry
Certification Gold (US)
Dolly Parton singles chronology
"Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You"
"9 to 5"
"But You Know I Love You"

"9 to 5" is a song written and originally performed by American country music singer Dolly Parton for the 1980 comedy film of the same name. In addition to appearing on the film soundtrack, the song was the centerpiece of Parton's 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs album, released in late 1980. The song was released as a single in November 1980.

The song garnered Parton an Academy Award nomination and four Grammy Award nominations, winning her the awards for "Best Country Song" and "Best Country Vocal Performance, Female". For a time, the song became something of an anthem for office workers in the U.S., and in 2004, Parton's song ranked number seventy-eight on American Film Institute's "100 years, 100 songs".

The song was accompanied by a music video that featured footage of Parton and her band performing, intercut with clips from the film.


The song 9 to 5 was written for the comedy film 9 to 5, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Parton in her film debut. The song—and film—owe their titles to an organization founded in 1973 with the aim of bringing about better treatment for women in the workplace.

The song is also featured in a musical theater adaptation of the film, featuring a book by the film's original writer, Patricia Resnick, and 20 additional songs written by Dolly Parton. 9 to 5 began previews in Los Angeles on September 9, 2008, and played on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre from April until September 2009 before touring. In 2012, a UK theatre tour of "9 to 5" got underway.

A few months before Parton's song and the film, Scottish singer Sheena Easton released a single called "9 to 5" in the UK. When Easton's song was released in the U.S. the following year it was renamed "Morning Train (Nine to Five)" to avoid confusion. Easton's single reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart three months after Parton's song left that spot. While Parton's song features an empowered (if challenged) working woman, Easton's song features a passive, love-struck woman waiting around at home all day for her lover to return from work.

Although the Parton recording only reached No. 47 in the UK, it remains a popular song on radio and in nightclubs through Britain and was spliced between "Independent Women Part 1" by Destiny's Child and "Eple" by Röyksopp for the Soulwax album As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt. 2.

Commercial performance

The song reached number one on the Billboard Country Chart in January 1981.[1] In February 1981, it went to number one both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary chart, respectively. It became her first No.1 entry on the former.[2]

In peaked at No. 47 in the UK singles chart in 1981. The song has sold 303,511 digital copies in the UK as of July 2014.[3]

Versions and covers

As early as 1995, a slightly remixed version of the song began appearing on Parton's hits compilations, sometimes faded to its original length and sometimes extended to 3:00. In this remixed version, some guitar is louder while background vocals are lower or missing in some places, and in the 3:00 version some of the horns as heard in the film version of the song can be heard towards the end of the track. The 3:00 version of the song is available on "The Essential Dolly Parton" and "Playlist: The Very Best of Dolly Parton" among others.

In 1981, Renée Martel covered this song in French "De 9 à 5" on her album "Un coin de ciel El lute"

In 1981, Kikki Danielsson covered the song on her album Just Like a Woman,[4] and the song remains one of her most famous country music recordings. The song was also covered by Swedish punk band Millencolin and included in their 1999 compilation album The Melancholy Collection, a collection of b-sides and rarities. Mark Wilson also sang "9 to 5" on It Takes Two with Rachael Beck. "9 to 5" was performed with sitar accompaniment in the opening scenes of the 2008 film The Love Guru, sung by the titular character played by Mike Myers; this version appears on the film's soundtrack album.

In 2015, American a cappella group Home Free covered the song on their album Country Evolution.


It is one of the few Billboard chart songs to feature the clacking of a typewriter. Parton has stated in a number of interviews that when she wrote the song, she devised the clacking typewriter rhythm by running her acrylic fingernails back and forth against one another.[5]

With "9 to 5", Parton became only the second woman to top both the U.S. country singles chart and the Billboard Hot 100 with the same single (the first being Jeannie C. Riley, who had done so with "Harper Valley PTA" in 1968).

In popular culture

The song appears in The Simpsons episode "I Married Marge".

The song is played in a bar on Season 8 Episode 17 of the comedy Will & Grace.

It also appears in the game Karaoke Revolution Country.

On the children's show, Sesame Street, Parton and this song were spoofed, respectively as Polly Darton, performed by veteran Muppeteer Fran Brill, and "Counting One to Five", about the time that Polly went to school, when her teacher asked her to count to five.[6]

Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1982 album The Chipmunks Go Hollywood.

VeggieTales also covered "9 to 5" on their 2012 album, "Bob & Larry Go Country".

At the beginning of the film The Love Guru, a cover of "9 to 5" is sung by the title character played by Mike Myers.

Kerry Ellis sang the song on two occasions at BBC Radio 2's Friday Night is Music Night, the first with John Barrowman.

Remy of Reason TV made an Obamacare remix of the song.[7]

At the end of the Gravity Falls episode Summerween, "9 to 5" played during the credits of the episode with pictures of a pig named Waddles with different memes.

Roger was singing along to this song in the American Dad! episode Bush Comes to Dinner.

The song is featured in the 1987 animated TV movie Down and Out with Donald Duck.

In season 7 of the reality show American Idol, the top nine contestants performed the song.[8]

In 2016, Winn-Dixie reworked "9 to 5" as "Down, Down, Down", in a television campaign advertising the new lower prices store-wide.

In Jock's Life of Mo, the opening song "Man of Mine" is a parody of "9 to 5."

Emery Worldwide used a variant of "9 to 5" (as "Emery's On the Case") in commercials airing during the mid-1980s[9]


Chart performance

Weekly charts

Chart (1980-81) Peak
Australia KMR [10] 9
Austria Top 40 5
Belgium 5
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
Dutch Top 40 15
German Singles Chart 46
New Zealand Singles Chart 9
Swedish Singles Chart 9
UK Singles Chart 47
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[11] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[12] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[13] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1981) Rank
Australia [10] 56
Canada [14] 6
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 [15] 9

Preceded by
"I Love a Rainy Night"
by Eddie Rabbitt
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

January 24, 1981
Succeeded by
"I Feel Like Loving You Again"
by T. G. Sheppard
Preceded by
"Still Falling in Love"
by Carroll Baker
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

February 21, 1981
Succeeded by
"Southern Rains"
by Mel Tillis
Preceded by
by Kool & the Gang
Billboard Hot 100
number one single

February 21, 1981 (first run)
Succeeded by
"I Love a Rainy Night"
by Eddie Rabbitt
Preceded by
"I Love a Rainy Night"
by Eddie Rabbitt
Billboard Hot 100
number one single

March 14, 1981 (second run)
Succeeded by
"Keep on Loving You"
by REO Speedwagon
Preceded by
"Smoky Mountain Rain" by Ronnie Milsap
Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single
February 28, 1981 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"What Kind of Fool" by Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb

See also


  1. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 262.
  2. Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 190.
  3. "Country Bites News snippets June 30 - July 6, 2014". Country Routes News. 13 July 2014.
  4. "Just like a woman / Danielsson, Kikki". Svensk mediedatabas. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-04-07. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
  6. "Sesame Street - Polly Darton sings 1 to 5" on YouTube
  7. Video on YouTube
  8. American Idol 7 - Top 9 Nine to Five HQ. YouTube. 12 July 2009.
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la_3fXGSbLw
  10. 1 2 "Australian Chart Book". Austchartbook.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  11. "Dolly Parton – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Dolly Parton.
  12. "Dolly Parton – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Dolly Parton.
  13. "Dolly Parton – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Dolly Parton.
  14. "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  15. "Top 100 Hits of 1981/Top 100 Songs of 1981". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-16.

External links

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