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.