'I'm begging you to please come take my man': Quarantine parody of Dolly Parton's Jolene takes off

While Laura-Lee Shea was already well known in Tignish, P.E.I., for her performances at the local dinner theatre, her recent COVID-19 parody of Dolly Parton's song Jolene has brought her fame to new heights.

'I was surprised it was so well-liked'

To help distract herself and others amid COVID-19, Islander Laura-Lee Shea produced a spoof on Dolly Parton's classic song Jolene. (Laura-Lee Shea/YouTube)

Laura-Lee Shea was already well known in Tignish, P.E.I., for her performances at the local dinner theatre, but her recent COVID-19 parody of Dolly Parton's song Jolene has brought her fame to new heights.

The Island performer's new video has been watched nearly seven million times on Facebook, since she posted it on April 5.  

As COVID-19 has kept Shea from the barber shop she owns and operates, she found herself with some extra time on her hands.

It was from there she decided to deliver on a friend's dare and produce her own comedic spin on the classic tune from her closet, dressed as a character she calls Granny Shea.

"Granny Shea has been around for a few years," she said. "She likes to perform at birthday parties and kind of surprise people." 

The essential workers are enjoying it too and that feels good.— Laura-Lee Shea

Her daughter, she said, recorded the video in one take. 

Lee said she's no stranger to creating spoofs to classic songs. 

"My husband's family has actually been doing it for years, so I just started doing it myself," she said.

'A distraction'

After the video was posted online, she decided to get some fresh air on the beach. When she returned, it had already generated about 3,000 views.

"I was surprised it was so well-liked," she said. 

"But the more I thought about it, I thought well, the majority of people are home and on social media hoping to get a distraction from everything that's going on." 

Making the video offered her a welcome reprieve from what has been a stressful situation. 

Since the video was posted, Shea said she's received hundreds of notes of gratitude from viewers. A nurse from Alberta, took the time to tell Shea that her entire staff have been singing the tune all day.

"The essential workers are enjoying it too and that feels good," she said.

'Something in the mix'

Shea also noted that while the spoof centres around being stuck inside the house with her partner — who is an essential worker — it's all in jest.

"He's the best husband ever." 

So far, Shea said Dolly Parton hasn't reached out about the video but she admits, "that would be exciting." 

For people hoping for some more Granny Shea spoofs, they will be glad to know Shea plans on producing some more songs and skits to keep herself and others entertained during COVID-19 in the coming days. 

"We've got a little something in mix," she said.

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.
  • Practise physical distancing.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More COVID-19 news from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning


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