“You’ll Never Be the Sun” by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris

“You’ll Never Be the Sun” is a lyrically-complicated song. That observation is not to imply that the words themselves are complex. Rather, it’s clear that the vocalists are putting forth some kinda concrete idea, though what exactly isn’t easily ascertainable.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris's You'll Never Be the Sun at Lyrics.org.

Well according to at least one professional critic, this is a love song. That much is obvious anyway. What isn’t as clear is if “You’ll Never Be the Sun” is romantic in nature.

Also less-than-apparent is what’s being put forth in general. But going a bit out on a limb, this may be an inspirational piece more so than a love song per se. Or, let’s say that there are two thesis sentiments here. One, obviously, is that the vocalist loves and looks up to the addressee. But as for the second verse, which is the most-confusing segment, it reads more like the singer is encouraging the person she’s singing to have faith.

“You’ll Never be the Sun”

Concerning the usage of the titular metaphor, as presented in full it seems as if the ladies are telling this person not to get too far ahead of him or herself. But this advice isn’t so much about keeping conceit or pride in check. Instead, it’s like despite being a luminary (at least in the eyes of the vocalist), the addressee shouldn’t convince themselves that they control the universe. Or put more plainly, while facing the trials of life, one should keep things in perspective as opposed to being overtaken by discouragement.

And yes, all of the above could be theoretically relayed, in context, to someone like a former lover, i.e. one you’re parting ways with but still have feelings for. Or the addressee could be a person who is feeling discouraged about the chances of falling in love. But again, taking into consideration that no romantic lingo is actually used, then viewing things from a different, more-general angle makes this track sound more like a positivity-thinking song.

Lyric to "You'll Never Be the Sun"

When was “You’ll Never Be the Sun” released?

Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt are contemporaries. The former two specialize in country music, with the latter being more of a general pop singer. They are also regular collaborators, i.e. the three of them jointly releasing two albums circa the end of the last century. This track is from the second of those projects, “Trio II“. “Trio II”, which is a product of Asylum Records, came out on 9 February 1999.

A total of 4 singles were released to market “Trio II”. “You’ll Never Be the Sun” wasn’t one of them, hence shares the same release date as the album. One of the most outstanding singles from the album is a cover of Neil Young’s iconic song, “After the Gold Rush”.


This song was written by a singer named Donagh Long and produced by intellectual behind-the-scenes’ man in George Massenburg.

You'll Never Be the Sun

2 Responses

  1. Marion says:

    Beautiful rendition- but I prefer Delores Keane’s version better.

  2. Marty says:

    Love the interpretation as well as the vocals and lyrics.

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