Monday, January 21, 2019

Buried Treasure: Loretta Lynn - The Pill (1975)

My fantastic visit to Nashville last summer led me to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

I learned a lot about vintage country music and specifically a lot more about Loretta Lynn than the biographical film Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), the story of her life, taught us.

Never one to shy away from controversy, in 1975 Lynn had the extreme nerve of releasing a single called "The Pill," a song that crossed over onto the pop charts. It peaked at #70 and was her highest charting song ever on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the only single lifted from her LP, Back To The Country.The hit was recorded in 1972 but her record company took three years to release it in any format. Considering the time period that shouldn't be surprising.

The track was written by Lorene Allen, Don McHan, and T. D. Bayless and after a court fight it was revealed that Lynn was also one of the composers.

The song is a humorous take about a woman who tired of her husband getting her pregnant every year and now that she had the pill at her disposal she was happy to finally have total control over her body. Country songs were seldom this brazen, especially those recorded by its female stars, and many radio stations banned it due to its supposed indecency. The controvery caused "The Pill" to peak at number 5 on the country music chart while most of Lynn's songs of the era were guaranteed to climb into the top three or higher.

In an interview for Playgirl Magazine, Lynn told the publication that many doctors from rural areas praised her because the song did more to advertise the pill's availibility than almost anything they had done up to this point.

It should be noted that Lynn's own life experience was undoubtedly an inspiration for the song. The singing star had six children; four of them were born before her twentieth birthday. She must have been smiling during the recording session.

The lyrics are posted below the attached video so you can follow along.

Most of the information regarding this article came from Wikipedia but nothing was quoted directly.

You wined me and dined me when I was your girl
Promised if I'd be your wife
You'd show me the world
But all I've seen of this old world is a bed and a doctor bill
I'm tearing down your brooder house
'Cause now I've got the pill

All these years I've stayed at home
While you had all your fun
And every year that's gone by
Another baby's come
There's gonna be some changes
Made right here on Nursery Hill
You've set this chicken your last time
'Cause now I've got the pill

This old maternity dress I've got
Is going in the garbage
The clothes I'm wearing from now on
Won`t take up so much yardage
Miniskirts hotpants and a few little fancy frills
Yeah, I'm making up for all those years since I've got the pill

I'm tired of all your crowing
How you and your hens play
While holding a couple in my arms
Another's on the way

This chicken's done tore up her nest
And I'm ready to make a deal
And you can`t afford to turn it down
'Cause you know I've got the pill

This incubator is overused
Because you've kept it filled
The feeling good comes easy
Now since I've got the pill

It's getting dark
It`s roosting time
Tonight's too good to be real
Aw, but Daddy don't you worry none
'Cause Mama's got the pill
Oh, Daddy don't you worry none
'Cause Mama's got the pill

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