Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You

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"Old Flames (Can't Hold a Candle to You)"
Single by Dolly Parton
from the album Dolly, Dolly, Dolly
B-side "I Knew You When"
Released July 19, 1980
Recorded 1980
Studio RCA Studios, Nashville
Genre Country
Length 3:26
Label RCA
Songwriter(s) Patricia Rose Sebert, Hugh Moffatt
Producer(s) Gary Klein
Dolly Parton singles chronology
"Starting Over Again"
"Old Flames (Can't Hold a Candle to You)"
"9 to 5"
"Starting Over Again"
"Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You"
"9 to 5"

"Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You" is a country song written by singer-songwriter Pebe Sebert and Hugh Moffatt. It was a number 14 U.S. country hit for Joe Sun in 1978, and a number 86 hit for Brian Collins the same year. It was later covered by Dolly Parton, who took it to the top of the U.S. country singles charts in August 1980.[1]. Parton included her version on her 1980 Dolly, Dolly, Dolly album, and it was released as the album's second single after the success of "Starting Over Again". In 2013, Sebert's daughter, Kesha, released an acoustic cover of the song as part of her extended play Deconstructed. A new version featuring Parton is on Kesha's 2017 album Rainbow.


In the song, the narrator tells their lover not to feel threatened by past affairs for these "old flames" are in the past.

Chart performance[edit]

Joe Sun[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[2] 29
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 14

Brian Collins[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[4] 86

Dolly Parton[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[5] 2
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[6] 1


External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Lookin' for Love"
by Johnny Lee
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

September 27, 1980
Succeeded by
"Do You Wanna Go to Heaven"
by T. G. Sheppard