Music

'Hard Candy Christmas,' The Story Behind Dolly Parton's Holiday Classic

"Hard Candy Christmas" was originally written by Carol Hall and became popular in the Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse In TexasIn the film adaptation of the musical, Dolly Parton plays Miss Mona and is featured as a solo singer on the song's refrains. Parton released her version of the song in 1982, and it peaked at No. 8 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1983. While the song isn't exactly a song about Christmas, Parton and Kenny Rogers added it to their 1984 record Once Upon A Christmas. Parton also performed the song on Bob Hope's Christmas Special in 1988.

Hard candy can be anything from candy canes to lollipops or any inexpensive sweet treat. "Hard Candy Christmas" refers back to a time when families who could not afford much gifted their children with hard candy for Christmas. Of course, in the song, hard candy is used as a metaphor that reminds us that life, while often difficult, can also be sweet.

Outside of Parton, many artists have covered this classic holiday song.

June Carter Cash performed the song in 1982 on the Johnny Cash Christmas special on CBS.

In 1997, RuPaul released a version of the song on the Christmas album Ho, Ho, Ho.

In 2014, LeAnn Rimes released the song on her Christmas EP One Christmas: Chapter 1.

In 2015, Cyndi Lauper recorded a cover for her 2016 album Detour as a duet with Alison Krauss.

In 2016, Reba McEntire released the song on her country music album My Kind of Christmas.

Don't leave out this country Christmas song when you're making your merry Christmas playlist for the holiday season.

When you're sitting around your Christmas tree with your family, "Hard Candy Christmas" can remind you that life is sweet.

 

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'Hard Candy Christmas,' The Story Behind Dolly Parton's Holiday Classic