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Smooth Breakfast with Jenni Falconer 6am - 10am
22 December 2023, 08:10
"Workin' 9 to 5", what a way to make a livin'".
"Barely gettin' by, it's all takin' and no giving." I'm sure plenty of hard-working women have cried out those lyrics at some point in their careers.
The iconic title song to the 1980 office comedy 9 to 5 helped shine a light on inequality in the workplace, with a hefty dose of humour.
In what was her first acting role, the comedy became a classic, and scored Dolly a major hit with the country-pop crossover anthem.
But who wrote '9 to 5'? What inspired the song? Has anyone else covered '9 to 5' in the years since its release? Here's all you need to know:
Dolly Parton - 9 To 5
None other than Dolly Parton wrote '9 to 5', as she did with the majority of her own songs.
During the filming of 9 to 5, Dolly penned the lyrics, but was struck with an unusual source of inspiration to write it: her fingernails.
In 2009, Dolly revealed how she came about to write the song during an interview on 60 Minutes, saying: "I have acrylic fingernails, and they make a great rhythm sound. They sound almost like a typewriter".
A typewriter was a fitting sound given they were a secretary's best friend in the workplace, and Dolly even played her fingernails during the song's recording.
She even had personal experience to draw upon, as Dolly briefly worked as a secretary in 1964 before her music career kicked off.
Borrowing the name from 9to5 - an organisation founded in 1973 which helps women achieve equal treatment and in some cases equal pay in the workplace - the theme for Dolly's anthem was already set.
The film was centred around exposing gender inequality in the workplace, but with enough laughs so it didn't come across like a scathing feminist attack against men and reached a broad audience.
Dolly wrote lyrics that most women could relate to, like: "They just use your mind and they never give you credit. It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it."
These experiences were no doubt personal for Dolly, who had strived to become a successful country musician in an industry (and specifically genre of music) that was dominated by males.
It typifies Dolly's defiant approach to life and sparkles with the humour that transformed her into a global superstar.
Released the month before 9 to 5 hit cinemas on 30th November 1980, Dolly's country pop anthem was a major hit.
Climbing to the top of the US Billboard country charts by the end of January 1981, '9 to 5' eventually topped the US Billboard charts proper, becoming Dolly's first and only ever solo song to achieve that feat.
'9 to 5' was also released on Dolly's 1980 album, 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs, acting as the album's focal point despite the star returning to her rootsy country sound.
There's no doubt about it, that the success of '9 to 5' alongside her starring role in the film made Dolly an international superstar.
Not only did '9 to 5' become Dolly's biggest song of that decade, it's long been considered one of her signature hits alongside the likes of 'Jolene'.
Dolly managed to cross over from the world of country music to the mainstream pop domain, paving the way for a number of artists to follow in her footsteps too.
The likes of Shania Twain and Faith Hill also broke through initially within the country music scene, eventually becoming huge pop stars in their own right, crediting Dolly for doing so as a female artist.
"The Kelly Clarkson Show" "9 to 5" Cover
Because of its sentiment of workplace inequality and office mundanity, '9 to 5' has resonated with numerous artists over the years from a variety of music genres.
Punk band Millencolin have given it a bash, as have high-pitched rodents The Chipmunks, given the song's wide-spanning appeal.
The singer's dreams came true, however, when Dolly appeared alongside her in a later episode to sing the iconic song together.