7 Things You Need to Know About Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’

It seems Beyoncé still has smoke for “Becky with the good hair,” which many believe is a reference to the woman who Jay-Z allegedly cheated on her with. On Cowboy Carter, Dolly Parton explained that the title of the original “Jolene” was inspired by a young fan who wanted a song named after her, but Beyoncé flips the fictional tale that Parton crafted in the OG version and uses it to her advantage to send more shots at the “Becky” she was talking about on Lemonade’s “Sorry.” 

“Hey, Ms. Honey Bee, It’s Dolly P,” Parton says on the “Dolly Parton” interlude that comes right before the “Jolene” cover: “You know that hussy with the good hair you sang about? It reminded me of someone I knew back when, except she has flaming locks of auburn hair, bless her heart. Just a hair of a different color, but it hurts all the same.”

Beyoncé then unloads her country clip in a clever and unique reimagining of the classic “Jolene,” singing with authority, “There’s a thousand girls in every room that act as desperate as you do/ You a bird, go on and sing your tune, Jolene/I had to have this talk with you, ‘cause I’d hate to have to act a fool/Your peace depends on how you move, Jolene.” 

The song is so good because of the way Beyoncé is able to rework such a recognizable hook and make it relevant to herself, as she sings, “Jolene, I know that I’m a Queen, Jolene,” while still paying proper homage to the original song. This moment highlights just how far their relationship with Jay-Z has come when she sings lyrics like, “We been deep in love for 20 years/ I raised that man, I raised his kids/ I know my man better than he knows himself/ I can easily understand why you’re attracted to my man/ But you don’t want this smoke, so shoot your shot with someone else.”