Like Loretta Lynn? Like Her Song “The Pill?” Well, Country Radio Still Won’t Play It

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

As many country music fans know, Loretta Lynn passed away earlier this week on Tuesday (October 4) at the age of 90.

In the wake of her passing, many are revisiting her classic songs like “Portland Oregon” and “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”

Some even are remembering her groundbreaking song “The Pill,” which gives thanks to the contraceptive known as birth control. But while some are diving back into that tune, it’s nowhere to be found on country radio, where Lynn made her name with other popular track.

Lynn, one of the biggest stars in country music, released the song in 1975 and it was, despite her fame and popularity, quickly banned by many country outlets. Apparently, the ode to sexual freedom and body autonomy wasn’t a hit in those markets thanks to lyrics like This old maternity dress I’ve got is going in the garbage / The clothes I’m wearing from now on won’t take up so much yardage / Miniskirts, hot pants, and a few little fancy frills / Yeah, I’m making up for all those years since I’ve got the pill.

Yet, despite (or perhaps because of) the controversy, “The Pill” would become Lynn’s highest charting pop single, hitting No. 70 on the Hot 100.

But even today, “The Pill” is not on the air on country stations. According to Luminate (formerly Nielsen Music), the song was played only once by a country radio station in the United States in 2022.

That number, though perhaps shocking to some, makes sense given today’s political climate and conversations about reproductive rights and the recent Roe v. Wade decision by the United States Supreme Court, which said the U.S. Constitution does not protect a women’s right to an abortion. That conversation has extended to many areas, with many government officials working to ban even normal forms of contraception, including birth control.

Yet, Lynn never seemed to mind.

But just because country radio stations won’t play the song doesn’t mean country stars don’t support it and Lynn’s writing. Recently, in the wake of the SCOTUS decision, country star Maren Morris posted on Twitter the statement, “Alexa, play Loretta Lynn’s ‘The Pill.'”

Maybe in the future, the track will get love on country air. But it seems unlikely.

For more on “The Pill,” read our Behind the Song offering on the track HERE.

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