Loretta Lynn's "The Pill" Still Cannot Be Played On Country Radio

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Loretta Lynn’s “The Pill” Still Cannot Be Played On Country Radio

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(CTN News) – Loretta Lynn was one of the biggest stars in country  music when she released a song that was quickly banned by radio stations.
‘The Pill’ was an ode to birth control and sexual freedom that shocked the industry and many of the genre’s more conservative listeners:

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.

Despite this, “The Pill” is still forsaken nearly fifty years after its release because conservative social norms have ossified around the country music establishment.
Country radio stations in the U.S. played the song just once in 2022, even though it’s a classic.
Loretta Lynn career as a provocative lyricist serves as a reminder that the conservative values touted by the country music establishment don’t always match those of its listeners.

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.

Still, birth control was a hot topic, especially among conservatives. Birth control only became legal in 1972 after Eisenstadt v Baird, and it wasn’t available in most rural areas where Lynn was popular.
In the 1971 song “One’s On The Way,” Lynn pointed out that the feminist revolution of the 1970s hadn’t reached many parts of the country:

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:

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