5 Loretta Lynn Songs That Were Banned for Being Controversial

5 Banned Songs by Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn — the Queen of Country Music — died on October 4, 2022, but she leaves behind an incomparable legacy of music. Lynn wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries of the conservative country music of her time and write about what she truly felt. On some occasions, country fans and radio balked at her raw songwriting. Many of her songs were labeled “controversial” and some of them were even banned from airplay. However, Lynn managed to gain fans and have a successful career through her honest music, and she paved the way for other artists to do the same. Here are 5 of Loretta Lynn’s most controversial songs.

5. “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”

Loretta Lynn took a risk when she released “Don’t Come A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” in 1966. The song covered a topic not often talked about during the time: A man who comes home inebriated, looking for love from his wife, and the woman who is simply fed up with his antics. This is the story Lynn tells in the song, and despite raising some eyebrows at the time, it turned into one of her biggest hits and most recognizable tunes. The song not only reached the No. 1 spot, but it set the stage for more honest songs to come.

>>RELATED: The Story Behind The Song: “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin”

4. “Wings Upon Your Horns”

Released in 1969, and therefore predating “The Pill” and “Fist City,” “Wings Upon Your Horns” was another controversial Loretta Lynn song. In the song, which was written solely by Lynn, the country legend sings from the perspective of a young woman who lost her virginity. She uses some religious imagery to tell the story — mentioning wings, halos and saints — and it’s clear the male subject of the song did not stay with the woman at the end.

3. “Fist City”

Loretta Lynn’s songwriting subjects were diverse, and one of the topics she often covered was infidelity. Unfortunately, Lynn pulled from her personal life, including often tumultuous marriage to husband Doolittle Lynn, for these songs. In 1968’s “Fist City,” Lynn issues a warning to a woman who is thought to be messing around with her man.

She infuses a few graphic details about the consequences that await this woman should she come around again. “‘Cause I’ll grab a you by the hair a the head / And I’ll lift off of the ground,” she sings. She further establishes this sentiment at the end of the chorus, adding, “I’m here to tell you gal to lay off a my man if you don’t want to go to fist city.”

>>RELATED: “Fist City” A Song Written Based on Loretta Lynn’s Life

2. “Rated X”

Loretta Lynn’s “Rated X” follows the theme of other controversial or banned songs in that it broaches a subject that is a particular struggle for women. In this song, released in 1972, Lynn sings about the public perception of women who have been divorced and the double standards of those perceptions. She mentions that many people will look down on divorced women, (“the women all look at you like you’re bad”). Men, on the other hand, may look at a divorced woman as an object (“their minds eat up with sin”). Either way, divorced women didn’t have many places to turn in the ’70s world in which the song was released, and Lynn was there to represent them.

1. “The Pill”

“The Pill” is known Loretta Lynn’s most controversial single of all time. Released in 1975, the tune finds Lynn singing to her husband about going on birth control to prevent future pregnancies. The song is peppered with humorous lyrics about the subject, but some country music listeners didn’t take too kindly to the content. “The Pill” was banned by 60 radio stations at the time, but that didn’t stop it from becoming a hit. It peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. charts.

>>READ ALSO: How Loretta Lynn Turned a Banned Song Into a Huge Career Hit

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