5 Deep Cuts From Loretta Lynn You Should Be Listening To

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Loretta Lynn wrote ’em and sang ’em like no other. From “Fist City” to “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin,’” Lynn wasn’t afraid to lay it all bare. Though her candor often earned her some trouble from radio in the ’60s, it has undoubtedly made her an enduring icon today.

While that sensibility is most notable in her hits, it extends far beyond her radio staples, deep into her album cuts and one-offs. Below, we’re going through five lesser-known Lynn tracks that deserve to be taken for a spin.

1. “You Wanna Give Me a Lift”

In “You Wanna Give Me a Lift,” Lynn sings about taking a ride with a man whose hands are “getting friendly.” Elsewhere he urges her to take “a little drink” and a “happy pill,” all of which she quickly cuts off at the pass saying, this ol’ gal ain’t a going that far. It’s just one example of the empowerment, Lynn infused into all of her songs.

2. “Whispering Sea”

If there’s one thing Lynn knows how to do, it’s writing a break-up song. Though they usually find Lynn heavy into the anger stage of her break-up, “Whispering Sea” is deeply wistful. She sings, I sat down by the sea and it whispered to me / It brought back an old love affair that used to be / It told me that you had found someone new / And left me to cry over you.

3. “Happy Birthday”

No not that one… Lynn penned a song called “Happy Birthday” in 1965 that sees her telling her cheating partner that she’s leaving. Since she won’t be around, she goes ahead and covers all her bases singing, Happy birthday, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Though the little celebratory diddy that this song shares its name with might be more pervasive than Lynn’s version, it’s well worth checking out.

4. “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like My Daddy Anymore”

In the same vein as “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like My Daddy Anymore” is an ode to the love Lynn felt from her father growing up. In the verses, she paints scenes of a coddled childhood and a father who broke the mold. They don’t make men like my daddy anymore / Guess they’ve thrown away the pattern through the years / In a great big land of freedom, at a time we really need ’em / They don’t make ’em like my daddy anymore, she sings.

5. “I Still Believe in Waltzes” (with Conway Twitty)

One of many duets Lynn did with Conway Twitty, “I Still Believe in Waltzes” is perhaps their most loved-up. In the song, Twitty sings about loving women with “old-fashioned ways” and “the gold ole days.” Elsewhere Lynn joins in with Twitty to sing, We still believe in waltzes…

Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

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