Singer and songwriter Dolly Parton has often extended her creative energy beyond music, from unveiling a line of pet apparel (Doggy Parton) to co-writing a mystery novel with author James Patterson. But not all of her endeavors are for public consumption. At least, not right away. A song Parton wrote and recorded in 2015 won’t be available for listening until 2046 on account of being locked in a time capsule.
Parton composed the song, “My Place in History,” to help commemorate the 2015 opening of Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The song is on a CD and comes paired with a CD player—just in case those no longer exist in the future. The intention is to play it in 2046, when the resort turns 31 and Parton herself will be 100 years old. (While some sources place the date of the reveal as 2045 when Parton turns 99, the display placard notes a 2046 unveiling.)
“'You’ll be long dead,'” Parton once quoted a business associate as saying in her 2020 book Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. “I said, ‘Well, maybe not. I’ll be 99. I’ve seen people live to be older than that.’…It’s kind of weird or strange that they would ask me to write this mystery song. I don’t know if I want to live to be 100 or not. But you never know. I might, and if I do, I’m going to be at that opening.”
While many time capsules wind up being buried, Parton’s is not: It’s on display at the resort in a chestnut box, along with a piece of wood from the front porch of her childhood home.
Whether it remains sealed until 2046 is slightly in doubt. Parton has since said she’s concerned the materials might be damaged in the interim and has thought about cracking it open early. “I figure it’ll probably disintegrate, probably nobody ever hears it,” she said in 2022. “That’s what bothers me, to think that it’s gonna be a song that nobody’s ever gonna hear if it rots in there before they open it.”