Almost to the day, twenty years from it’s original recording date, my high school senior class picked I Will Always Love You as our class song. I don’t imagine many of us knew the song was that old at the time or that Dolly Parton had written it. Whitney Houston’s version had eclipsed it. That’s not bad or good. Simply, a fact. It had been written for Porter Wagoner and the acrimony between Dolly and Porter after their split is best heard in the passion of that song. The power of Dolly Parton is in her ability to take an emotion like that, something so raw most of us bury it away and put it to a song that captures all the best and worst parts of a real split. This is no high school crush. The power of Whitney Houston, the gospel trained R&B sensation, was simply that she took this song, this specific song, and not only made it her own, but made it synonymous with her name.
You may be wondering who the beauty is in the picture at the top of the blog and what she has to do with any of this. He name is Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir and she’s from Iceland. She performs lovely, slightly melancholy, sometimes fragile, country songs under the name Lay Low. Her version of I Will Always Love You somehow sneaks in beneath Dolly and Whitney’s renditions. I don’t know what gave her the guts to sing the song, but I can imagine it was the same thing that compel the rest of us to listen to it; heartbreak.
I Will Always Love You, Lay Low