Loretta Lynn’s “Van Lear Rose” Is A Lyrical Masterpiece Tribute To Her Mom

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Loretta Lynn sings in 2004 during a solo concert at the Washington County Fair in West Bend; Wis.

Loretta Lynn’s “Van Lear Rose” is the first track off of her 2004 all-original comeback album in collaboration with garage punker Jack White of White Stripes. Unlike all the other albums she has released before, she claimed that this was the countrier than anything she had ever cut. It was ragged yet charming and lively, like a loose and fresh jam session with friends, with Lynn’s musical essence purely poured into it. After all, she penned all thirteen tracks.


But what made this a standout from all her previous albums was that it gave us a deeper insight into who Loretta Lynn was as a songwriter. We already knew she was one to never back down from speaking the truths of her life as a poor girl married to a cheating, drunkard husband, a teen mother, and a woman in a male-dominated genre. She fought with songs and gave voice to the unheard. But what most probably didn’t know was that Lynn was more than just her controversial narratives. She could write everything from heartwarming stories, to heart-wrecking ballads, country rave-ups, and even gospel songs. One of these was her three-minute and 50-second long song “Van Lear Rose,” which she co-wrote with her daughter Patsy Lynn Russell.

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