The country queen, Loretta Lynn, is someone I’ve always respected. Beyond the swang-y guitar and jingle-jangle rhythm, her voice was a unique addition to a saturated 60’s-70’s country market. Her 1975 song, “The Pill,” made a bit of a mess for the Coal Miner’s Daughter, a controversy that hurt her radio-market plays, but led to her highest single outside of the country charts (reaching #70 on the top 100).
The songcraft might be simple, but this is a country song with a powerful message – and Lynn wasn’t afraid to speak her mind on the subject. It tells the story of a woman fooled into having too many kids. Her lover keeps knocking her up, and she appears forever doomed to be matron of a brood of bastards. The birth control pill takes the power away from him – and now she’s in charge.
Lynn later said in an interview with Playboy Magazine that rural doctors thanked her for making the song – saying it highlighted the availability of the pill to many women.
While history exists in the past, the impact of historical events on the present can be powerful, with systems and sentiments of yesteryear often setting up standards that persist today. While it is often said history is an invaluable tool for learning from past mistakes, any lessons to be learned only come from digging deep [...]