Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City” – A Lesson On A Southern Woman’s Charm

Loretta Lynn country music
Loretta Lynn

Don’t be fooled by a pretty face.

Loretta Lynn is one of country music’s pioneer female artists, constantly pushing the boundaries of what women in her time could sing about. If you’re even slightly familiar with Lynn’s catalog, you know that she had quite a few singles banned from country radio, with “The Pill” being one of the most well-known.

However, one song that needs to be discussed more is “Fist City.” Next to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” it’s the ultimate ‘stay away from my man song,’ but far, FAR more aggressive. Lynn wrote the track after she heard her husband, Doolittle, was seeing another woman in town while she was out on tour. Their publicly tumultuous relationship was often the topic of many of her songs, but Lynn, who fiercely stood by his side, often made the mistresses the subjects of her songs.

“Fist City” is a letter to this woman warning her to stay away or she’ll meet her fists. The 1968 single was Lynn’s second number-one hit, staying on the charts for 17 weeks. It was a massive hit among women who felt the same about those who made advances on married men.

Lynn reflected on the warning lyrics in her 2001 autobiography.

“I’ve been in a couple of fights in my life. I fight like a woman. I scratch and kick and bite and punch. Women are much meaner than men.

So I warned any girl making eyes at Doo then, and I’m still jealous enough to warn ’em today… if you see this cute little old boy near me wearing his cowboy hat, you’d better walk a circle around us if you don’t want to go to Fist City.”

If this doesn’t go to show you should never look past a Southern woman’s charm, I’m not sure what does. She is, after all, a coal miner’s daughter… she’s not afraid to get down and dirty when needed.

The lyrics for this single speak for themselves:

“If you don’t wanna go to Fist City, you better detour around my town
‘Cause I’ll grab you by the hair of the head and I’ll lift you off of the ground…”

I also love how Lynn notes that her husband is far from perfect as well, as he entertains another woman.

“I’m not a saint, my baby’s a saint ’cause he ain’t natty, won’t cat around with a kitty
I’m here to tell you, you gotta lay off of my man if you don’t wanna go to Fist City…”

They don’t make them like Loretta Lynn anymore, just one of her many lyrically amazing songs.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock