Two Doors Down

Album: Here You Come Again (1977)
Charted: 19
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • There's a party going on in this upbeat tune and a lonesome Dolly Parton decides to join in to cheer herself up. She hits it off with one of the partygoers and invites him back to her apartment, two doors down, where they have their own private celebration.

    Dolly wrote this during a similar situation, although she didn't get a man out of the ordeal. She and her band were staying at a Howard Johnson's Motor Inn and while the rest of the group was sitting down to dinner, a dieting Dolly was alone in her room trying to stave off hunger with a disgusting protein shake. "The band was down there in the restaurant. I could hear them laughing and talking," she recalled in her 2020 book, Songteller. "I was in my room, because I couldn't go down there and eat. I remember just feeling so sorry for myself in this lonely-ass room while they were having a party. I thought, 'Well, I can't eat. I can't just sit here and feel sorry for myself. Why don't I just write a song?'"
  • Although she wrote the lyrics on stationery from a Pennsylvania Holiday Inn, Dolly is certain she wrote the song at a Howard Johnson's because she distinctly remembers her hankering for the motel's fried clams.
  • Before Dolly's version even hit the radio, Hee Haw regular Zella Lehr released a cover version that went to #7 on the Country chart. In the meantime, Dolly achieved her pop breakthrough with the album's lead single, "Here You Come Again," and, not wanting to compete with Lehr's countrified take, she re-recorded "Two Doors Down" with a disco-pop feel. It peaked at #19 on the Hot 100 and notched a #12 entry on the Adult Contemporary chart. The new version also replaced the original on subsequent pressings of the album.
  • This inspired the second episode of the 2019 Netflix anthology series Dolly Parton's Heartstrings, a collection of short-film adaptations of Dolly's songs. In the story, family drama ensues when Tyler (Andy Mientus), a gay man, is outed to his parents on the weekend of his sister's wedding. Dolly introduces the episode by recalling the diverse group of musicians of all races, religions, genders, and sexual orientations who became part of her family on the road. She reminds the audience that life isn't always a party but is a lot easier when we accept the love that's around us.

    Tyler sings the tune at the beginning of the episode and Dolly sings it at the wedding reception, where she shows up as the surprise entertainment.
  • This is featured in the 2018 movie Dumplin', starring Jennifer Aniston. The soundtrack is made up entirely of Dolly Parton tunes and includes a version of the song with guest stars Macy Gray and the rock band Dorothy.
  • This was also used in the 1989 movie Pink Cadillac, starring Clint Eastwood.
  • This earned Dolly the Songwriter Achievement Award at the Nashville Songwriters Association International Awards in 1979.
  • This was released as a double-A-sided single with "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right," which peaked at #1 on the Country chart.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal Tap

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.

Amanda Palmer

Amanda PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Call us crazy, but we like it when an artist comes around who doesn't mesh with the status quo.

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining Victims

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining VictimsSong Writing

Just like Darrin was replaced on Bewitched, groups have swapped out original members, hoping we wouldn't notice.

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

Janet Jackson

Janet JacksonFact or Fiction

Was Janet secretly married at 18? Did she gain 60 pounds for a movie role that went to Mariah Carey? See what you know about Ms. Jackson.

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top Proverb

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top ProverbSong Writing

How a country weeper and a blues number made "rolling stone" the most popular phrase in rock.