If there’s one thing Loretta Lynn was known for, it’s not pulling punches.
The country music icon passed away at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee at 90 years old, leaving behind a legacy that will carry on for quite a long time.
Part of that legacy was making statements with her songs. Statements that weren’t always well received by the general public.
Throughout her career she had multiple songs banned from the radio (14 of them to be exact) for being to controversial for the traditionally conservative genre, but the banning tended to have an adverse affect to what they planned.
Songs didn’t go away, they became anthems for her and the women who felt as if she was speaking for them.
In an interview with Parade, Loretta said it’s all about the telling the truth:
“I just write what I feel, what is going on with me and my life. It just happened that a lot of other women felt the same.
I would never set out to write something just for it to shock someone; I am not that clever. It’s always been about truth and if that means radio wants to ban it, well that’s their problem.
Most of my records they banned became No. 1 anyway.”
Here’s five of her biggest statement songs.
This is easily the one that caused the most backlash, even leading to a preacher denouncing the album during a sermon, which more than likely just enticed attendees to go buy it. The song is a wife telling her husband there’d be no more never ending pregnancies, a strong theme throughout her catalogue, cause she’s got the pill.
The song was banned by at least 60 radio stations throughout the country, yet the ban had little to no effect on the single’s sales, which peaked at about 15,000 units a week and went to #5 on the country charts.
“Rated X” is her take on how unfair divorce was back in her day, with men getting off pretty much scot-free and women being looked at with shame, yet simultaneously being marked as a target for men. It was the sixth #1 of her career.
Wings Upon Your Horns
Losing virginity is always a touchy subject, especially when religious themes are used to express the idea but, like we’ve come to love, it didn’t stop Loretta from speaking her mind.
Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Loving On Your Mind)
Loretta brought her own life into many of her songs, including this one.
It’s pretty obvious how her 50 year marriage to an alcoholic and a cheater brought this song about and feeds many of the other themes we’ve been hearing…
While not diving into subjects as touchy as the others, Loretta’s warning to women who flirt with her man while she’s touring was done so directly and forcefully it made people do a double take.
This is probably my favorite Loretta song. The phrase “Fist City” for an ass-whooping is just so great. We need to start using it more often…