This kind of sharp-witted and fearless storytelling made Loretta Lynn, who died on Tuesday at 90, a titan of country music and an inspiration to future generations of songwriters.
Despite its controversy, “The Pill” became Lynn’s highest-charting pop single, peaking at #70.
She was a constant presence atop the country charts when she wrote “The Pill.” A dozen of her songs made the Billboard U.S. Country Top 5 between 1970 and 1974.
As well as celebrating country life, Loretta Lynn also sang about cheating, female lust, and violent revenge with humor and life.
Lynn told TIME that she didn’t think “The Pill” was out of place with her other songs: “It’s not as dirty as some of them.” “I wrote one the other day that’s so dirty, I have to close my eyes when I sing it,” she said.
According to Miranda Lambert, “Gunpowder & Lead” was inspired by “The Pill”: “Abuse is not something everyone talks about.”
Loretta Lynn taught me that. She wrote ‘The Pill’ when you didn’t talk about that stuff.”
Maren Morris tweeted that she was listening to the song in protest after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade: