3 Songs You Didn’t Know Patsy Lynn Russell Wrote With Her Mother Loretta Lynn

When Loretta Lynn gave birth to her youngest children, twin daughters Patsy Eileen and Peggy Jean on August 6, 1964, she named one daughter after her sister Peggy Sue Wright and the other after her friend Pasty Cline. “When he said there was another one to deliver,” joked Loretta in her 2022 personal essay Two Are Better Than One. “In exhaustion, I said, ‘I can’t. Leave it in there.’ Well, my little Patsy Eileen soon appeared healthy as a horse. They were beautiful and I was in shock.”

In the late ’90s, Peggy and Patsy formed the country music duo The Lynns and released only one self-titled album in 1998. The Lynns hit the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with singles “Woman to Woman” and “Nights Like These,” and picked up two CMA nominations for Vocal Duo of the Year before the sisters called it quits by the early 2000s.

Throughout the next two decades, Patsy and Peggy continued performing. Patsy, whose daughter Emmy Russell, a contestant on season 22 of American Idol, also went on to work as a producer and songwriter. Along with Cline’s daughter Julie Fudge, in 2019, Russell co-produced Patsy & Loretta, a Lifetime movie exploring the 19-month friendship between their mothers before Cline’s death in a plane crash in 1963.

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Peggy Lynn and Patsy Lynn attend the Special Merit Awards and Nominee Reception at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre on January 30, 2010, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage)

“She’s a producer and a songwriter,” said Loretta of Patsy, “and helps keep so much of my world running.” 

From 2016 onward, Patsy also wrote and co-produced all of her mother’s albums with Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash‘s son John Carter Cash, including Full Circle and White Christmas Blue in 2016, Wouldn’t It Be Great from 2018, and her final release Still Woman Enough in 2021.

Here’s a look at three contributions Patsy Lynn Russell made to her mother’s book of songs.

[RELATED: The Story Behind the Final Song Loretta Lynn Wrote for Her Husband “Doo”]

1. “These Ole Blues” (2018)

Written by Loretta Lynn and Patsy Lynn Russell

After co-producing Loretta’s 40th album, Full Circle, which went to No. 4 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and the top 20, at No. 19, along with a Grammy nomination for Best Country Album, Patsy and John Carter Cash continued working on Lynn’s final three albums.

When Lynn began working on her 45th album Wouldn’t It Be Great, along with producing, Patsy also co-wrote two tracks, including “These Ole Blues,” a slow-brewed somber ballad of fading memories and leaving all the music behind one day.

I sure am gonna miss them old twin fiddle
I love to sing them good ole country songs
But my whole world’s a blue-eyed girl in Memphis
And I’d be down there with her for too long
Midnight train to Memphis take me easy
Let me look back on the things I’m gonna lose
Nashville will never know I’m leaving
And it gives a country boy them grand ole blues

I wish I had my old guitar to play
I feel some good ole mem’ry fade away

Oh Lord I see the main street lights of Memphis
And that woman leaves me shaking in my shoes
Oh woman’s lips will kiss me her loving arms will hold me
And help me make it through these grand ole blues

2. “Ain’t No Time to Go” (2018)

Written by Loretta Lynn and Patsy Lynn Russell

The release of Lynn’s 45th album Wouldn’t It Be Great was postponed after Lynn suffered a stroke in May 2017. In early 2018, Lynn fractured her hip after a fall at her home, which delayed the album once again. “Before my stroke last year, I had been working hard on a new album and was so excited about it,” said Lynn in a 2018 video statement. “This new record means so much to me, but this last year I had to focus on my health and decided to hold up the release. It’s been a tough year, but I’m feelin’ good now and look forward to it comin’ out.”

By July 2018, Lynn was already starting to shoot music videos at her ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, before the album release in September of that year. The title was pulled from the song Lynn recorded with Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette for their 1993 collaborative album, Honky Tonk Angels.

Along with the nostalgic “These Ole Blue” Patsy and Loretta co-wrote another revealing track for Wouldn’t It Be Great, “Ain’t No Time to Go.” While the mid-tempo bluegrass-led song touches on mortality, throughout “Ain’t No Time to Go,” Lynn also lists all the reasons to stick around a little longer.

Spring is just around the bend
Ain’t no time to go darlin’
Fields need plowin’ and the fences mend
Ain’t no time to go darlin’
Stay with me, a little bit longer
Stay with me, if you can
Stay with me, a little bit longer
Ain’t no time to go darlin’

The children need your guiding hand
Ain’t no time to go darlin’
Your son’s too young to be a man
Ain’t no time to go darlin’
Stay with me, a little bit longer
Stay with me, if you can
Stay with me, a little bit longer
Ain’t no time to go darlin’

I ain’t as strong as you think I am
Ain’t no time to go darlin’
And I’ll be doin’ the best I can
Ain’t no time to go darlin’
Stay with me, a little bit longer
Stay with me, if you can
Stay with me, a little bit longer
Ain’t no time to go darlin’

In the music video, directed by David McClister, Lynn and her band—including son Ernest Lynn on guitar—are jamming out on the porch at her Hurricane Mills ranch.

3. “Still Woman Enough,” featuring Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood (2021)

Written by Loretta Lynn and Patsy Lynn Russell

Following the release of Wouldn’t It Be Great, Lynn took a brief hiatus from working on new music in 2019 and 2020 to tend to her health, following her 2017 stroke. A year before her death on October 4, 2022, at age 90, Loretta released her final album, Still Woman Enough, which connects to Lynn’s 2002 memoir of the same name. The song can also be considered an update or response to Lynn’s 1966 album You Ain’t Woman Enough and its title track, which she rerecorded for Wouldn’t It Be Great with Tanya Tucker.

“It dates as far back as the book,” said Patsy Lynn Russell in 2021. “I said then, ‘Mom, that sounds like another song.’ I mean, it just sounds like another song. We just talked about it; I think I maybe wrote a couple lines.”

Patsy said that she already had the title written on a sheet of paper before she started writing portions of the song. “We got to talking about it, and I went home and I finished this chorus, and I brought it back in, and she’s [Loretta] like, ‘You know, I like that, ’cause I’ve been through some bad times,'” said Patsy, “and I was like, ‘Well, right there’s your first line.'”

Well, I’ve been through some bad times
Been on the bottom, been at the top
And I’ve seen life from both sides
It’s what you make with what you’ve got
There’s been times life’s got me down
Picked myself up and bounced right back around
I wasn’t raised to give up
And to this day, you know what?

I’m still woman enough
Still got what it takes inside
I know how to love, lose and survive
Ain’t much I ain’t seen and I ain’t tried
Been knocked down but never out of the fight
I’m Strong but I’m tender
Wise but I’m tough
And let me tell you when it comes to love
I’m still woman enough

I was raised in Oklahoma
Hey, I’m country proud to say
I’ve seen a lot of changes
Oh, but I ain’t never changed
Well, this here girl’s been there and done that
They call me hillbilly but I got the last laugh
Standing here today proving in every way

[RELATED: Loretta Lynn is ‘Still Woman Enough’ 50 Years and Albums Later]

Initially, the song wasn’t meant as a duet—or trio—until Loretta suggested bringing in Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood. “I didn’t mean for it to be a duet, but my mom did,” said Patsy. “When she was tracking the song, she said, ‘You know what, I’m gonna have Reba come in here and sing this with me. And it was kind of like, Okay, okay.’ Nobody really paid any attention—we were just trying to get the track down.”

Patsy continued, “And then she said when she went into cut her vocals, ‘I want Reba to come in and sing it with me,’ and she had just seen Carrie do ‘You Ain’t Woman Enough’ on [an awards show].”

Recorded at Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Still Woman Enough was the fourth of a planned five albums for Lynn that Patsy and John Carter Cash planned to produce.

Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum

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