Dolly Parton recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. No one expected the interview to take such a touching turn.
The 74-year-old country icon was discussing her mother, Avie Lee Owens, and how her mom would always sing folk songs to her throughout her childhood. “We used to sing when momma would sing. Momma would cry, we’d cry … those old songs were just amazing,” Dolly told Stephen.
Then, in the middle of the interview, Dolly broke into song, serenading Stephen with a particularly heartbreaking and emotional tune called “Bury Me Beneath the Willow.”
Stephen was visibly caught off-guard by his own reaction to Dolly’s beautiful, legendary voice.
In fact, he admitted she “got under his tripwire” as he unexpectedly began to cry on camera, to the point he needed a tissue to wipe away the tears.
The 56-year-old television host and comedian were so surprised by his tears that he laughed, telling Dolly the impromptu moment was so powerful that she’d given him goosebumps.
“I better hush before you cry yourself to death and we can’t finish the show,” Dolly remarked. “Like a lot of Americans, I’m under a lot of stress right now, Dolly!” he replied.
But these were tears of happiness and gratitude, and so many viewers at home felt exactly the same way he did.
“Isn’t it funny that sometimes there’s nothing happier than a cry?” he asked her.
“Yeah, I think it cleanses your soul. Water’s good to wash it out. That’s what tears are for, I think.”
Just beautiful! Watch the emotional and endearing moment in the clip below.