Forty years after three of country music’s biggest female superstars came together on The Dolly Parton Variety Show, a gorgeous rendition of Linda Rondstadt’s The Sweetest Gift continues to stir hearts of all of who hear it.Paired with the beautiful harmonies of Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, the trio gave an emotional performance that immediately earned a place as an instant classic. Seated on bar stools, the three perform with abundant grace.

Emmylou and Linda open the song, their rich, full-bodied voices lending the words such poignancy it’s hard not to get chills.Set against the warm strength of the other two’s vibrant tones, Dolly Parton’s ethereal, lilting melody is all the more amazing. The moment is afforded and even more special feel thanks to her endearing whispered request, “Can I sing one now?”Accompanied my Emmylou’s skillful twanging of the guitar and a briefly glimpsed piano, the song, though dated, feels immortal. With no outside knowledge, one could easily assume the performance happened just yesterday.

The trio’s magnificent melody is perhaps more well-known than the original version, which featured a duet between Linda and Emmylou.

The addition of Dolly Parton’s sweet, clear high tones only lifted an already amazing song even further.

It’s no wonder the beautiful recording has stood the test of time and continues to enjoy immense popularity today. This was not the first time the trio came together to perform on the show, and it wouldn’t be the last; each song is uniquely wonderful and well worth a listen.