A few months back, the world lost a truly great woman in Loretta Lynn.
I’m always amazed at how open and honest the truly was, from her songwriting to her interactions with people in real life and during interviews.
It’s remarkable how willing she was to speak about the trials in her life and share with people all over the world, but it’s of course what made her a global superstar and the queen of country music.
And in a 1980 interview, that occurred a few months before they started filming the biopic about her life Coal Miner’s Daughter, she was asked about what she would want to highlight about her own life if she could write the script.
She was very candid, saying she believed the most important thing that happened in her life was the early years of her marriage to Oliver “Doo” Lynn, as they got married when she was a young teenager and had four kids one right after the other.
She noted that she would want the whole world to know what the struggles really were like during that time when, as a girl, she took on all sorts of responsibility at a very young age:
“I probably think it would’ve been the hard times, when I had the four kids growing up, and I was growing up with them. That would probably be the highlight. That’s what I would want the whole world to know.
That it was hard, you know when a girl gets married that young. She’s the one that really, it’s harder on. Because I didn’t only take care of the four kids and have the four kids, I was having to work too, cleaning the house for my neighbor.
And I was bitter the whole time, too, you know, because I thought, well, it shouldn’t be like this. We’ve got four kids one right after the other, the man should take care of you better. And of course, at his age too, he liked to run around quite a bit.”
It’s hard to imagine any artist, or celebrity for that matter, owning up to all of those things with such sincerity, and moreover, actually wanting people to know about the pain she went through as a result, so maybe someone else would feel a little less alone.
I think it’s absolutely incredible that she was so willing to do so, and I will always admire and respect that about her more than anything else.
She continued, saying she tried to write songs during that time too, but she could never really put pen to paper, so to speak, until later in her life:
“Yes, during that period, since I write a lot of songs, I tried so hard to write songs .I would sit outside the house at night, and I would look at the moon, the stars, and I’d think, ‘I’m gonna write a song.’ But I never could.
Later when I did start writing, if I was sad, I could not write a sad song. But If i’m happy, I could write a sad song. And if I was sad, well, I’d write a happy song. I don’t know why it’s like that, but that’s the way I am.”
And when she was asked how she and Doo, who had a famously tumultuous marriage where he ran around on her and cheated all the time for many years (which she was open about and shared often), she says it came down to the fact that they really loved each other.
Loretta acknowledges that, clearly, they had plenty of their own problems in their marriage, but she had yet to meet anyone who didn’t:
“Well I think really, if you love one another and you get married, no matter what age you are, and you have your kids so young, I think it you know what love is. And I think that’s what made it last.
We had our problems, we sure did, but I don’t know of anybody that hasn’t.”
Part of the beauty of this interview is that I don’t think questions like this would be asked in today’s society (whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know), but it’s amazing how Loretta responds to all of it.
She’s not defensive, or offended, or anything of that nature when it comes to being asked some really tough (and very personal questions), she just says exactly how she feels and is completely honest about everything.
There’s a lot we can learn from her, that’s for sure.
They simply do not make ’em like Loretta anymore, and country music certainly isn’t the same without here and never will be.
Do yourself a favor and check it out, it’s well-worth seven minutes of your day: