The new Loretta Lynn album, Wouldn’t It Be Great, is available now @ iTunes.
by Walter Price
The history of country music has its foundations in trepidation and heartaches. Blue-collar tales of a hard day’s work, long nights drinkin’, and loves lost. Back in 1966 AM radios were humming with soon to be classics by Bill Anderson, George Jones, Jean Shepard, and Connie Smith. And while these artists were singing from their hearts, there was one performer that blew the lid off of conventional thinking. Loretta Lynn came out swinging with her “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”.
Considered to be the first of Lynn”s controversial singles followed later by “Rated X” and “The Pill”. This song would go on to be the first RIAA certified gold record for a female country artist as well as winning ‘Best Female Vocalist of the Year’ in 1967, another first for a female country entertainer. Well done.
Written by Lynn and her sister Peggy Sue Wells, the song’s backstory is a well-known tale. A chapter ripped directly from their own lives. Dealing with hard drinking husbands, and subsequent problems at home.
Well, you thought I’d be waitin’ up
When you came home last night
You’d been out with all the boys
And you ended up half tight.
But liquor and love that just don’t mix
Leave a bottle or me behind
And don’t come home a-drinkin’
With lovin’ on your mind.
“I looked at what she had on paper, and I kind of knew what she was trying to say. It’s like when there’s twins, the old saying is, ‘What one can’t think of, the other one can.’ I’ve always had this feeling with Peggy that I am kind of inside her head. Maybe it’s because she means so much to me. We can look at each other and know what the other is thinking. Sometimes it’s not good to be like that, but when the song was finished, we both thought it was great.”, Loretta Lynn (Honky Tonk Girl: My Life In Lyrics)
“Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” would go down as an empowering track for women everywhere. And, in many ways, we’ve come a long way since 1966 And in some ways, things seem a bit odd. Like the news that Lynn voted for Trump. A man, well known for his mistreatment of women and his blatant racism (we have to say, ‘allegedly’, for legal reasons).
Regardless of Lynn’s newer ill-advised political decisions, I don’t think it takes anything away from the importance of her legacy, nor do I think it takes away from the influence the lady from Butcher Hollow has had on generations of female artists and her part in the empowerment of women worldwide.
Check out three versions of one of country music’s most powerful songs.
Tammy Wynette (1967)
Gretchen Wilson (2010)
Loretta Lynn (2017)
The new album, Wouldn’t It Be Great, is out now.
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