So often the mark of a good song is how well it can handle different arrangements and interpretations. By that criteria, Bon Jovi‘s Top 10 hit ‘Lay Your Hands on Me,’ holds up well, as it has been covered by country legend Dolly Parton.
The song appears on her new album, ‘Blue Smoke,’ which will be released next month, but she previewed her version during her Australian tour in February (video above). Speaking to the media today (April 14), Parton reveals that she found an alternate meaning for the song than perhaps originally intended.
“When I first heard that song, years ago,” she said. “I thought, ‘Wow, that sounds so much like a gospel tune — with asking God to lay his hands on you.’ I grew up in a Pentecostal church, where we believed in healing and laying your hands, and praying for people who were sick and all that.”
Parton says that the gospel re-casting of the song came with the blessing, and assistance of its writers. “I called Jon Bon Jovi, and asked if he would be opposed for me turning it into a gospel tune — and I called Richie Sambora, who is a co-writer on it. We all three got together, and everybody threw in their thoughts and their ideas. They certainly condoned my thoughts and ideas.”
Arriving May 13, ‘Blue Smoke’ contains a couple of duets with old friends Kenny Rogers (‘You Can’t Make Old Friends’) and Willie Nelson (‘From Here to the Moon and Back’). In addition to the Bon Jovi cover, she also has her own take on Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.’