Music

The Meaning Behind Loretta Lynn's 'You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)'

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Thirteen-year-old Loretta Lynn met her husband at a pie social. The highest bidder won her pie, where she used salt instead of sugar, and no less than a month later, the two were married. By the time Lynn was 18, the couple had four children. Her husband, Doolittle "Mooney" Lynn, bought her a guitar and told everyone around the local Grange Hall his wife could out sing anyone but Kitty Wells. Soon Lynn had formed her own band.

Lynn signed to Zero Records in 1960, and the label sent her to LA to record a few songs. She and Mooney sent the records to country radio stations all over the U.S. They hit the road for Nashville and stopped at the radio stations along the way to promote the single "I'm a Honky Tonk Girl." After gaining some traction, the song peaked at #14 on the charts.

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Lynn's hits, "Before I'm Over You," and "Blue Kentucky Girl," kept her name fresh in the country music industry. When her singles "Don't Come Home a-Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)" and "You Ain't Woman Enough" came out, she became a force to be reckoned with. A female songwriter had never been so assertive and outspoken -- especially on the radio.

In her book Honky Tonk Girl: My Life In Lyrics, Lynn offered this story behind the song: "I gave birth to this song, and I felt every little bit of pain in these lyrics. I think in every marriage, at one time or the other, a woman worries about the other woman who may or may not exist. In my case, in this case, I had to be sure. Over the years, a lot of my fans have become close friends, and we tell each other all our problems. One night, at one of my live shows, me and a girlfriend were talking [in the dressing room.] She told me her husband, who was there with her, was running around on her. She was crying because when she came through the door to get into the show, she saw the other woman was also there. I said, 'We will fix that old gal.' That night I sang 'You Ain't Woman Enough' and dedicated it to her. Girlfriends gotta stick together."

The Coal Miner's Daughter was elected to The Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988. Her duo career with Conway Twitty, studio albums recorded with producer Owen Bradley, and her long list of bold country songs, Lynn didn't just pave the way for women in country music-she is a true trailblazer.

Be sure to add 'You're Lookin' At Country,' 'Fist City,' 'You're The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly,' 'God Gave Me A Heart to Forgive,' 'Put It Off Until Tomorrow,' 'Someone Before Me,' and 'A Man I Hardly Know' to your playlist of Lynn's biggest hits.

 

You've come to tell me something you say I ought to know
That he don't love me anymore and I'll have to let him go
You say you're gonna take him oh but I don't think you can
'Cause you ain't woman enough to take my man

Women like you they're a dime a dozen you can buy 'em anywhere
For you to get to him I'd have to move over
And I'm gonna stand right here
It'll be over my dead body so get out while you can
'Cause you ain't woman enough to take my man

Sometimes a man start lookin' at things that he don't need
He took a second look at you but he's in love with me
Well I don't know where they leave you oh but I know where I'll stand
And you ain't woman enough to take my man

Women like you they're a dime a dozen you can buy 'em anywhere
For you to get to him I'd have to move over
And I'm gonna stand right here
It'll be over my dead body so get out while you can
'Cause you ain't woman enough to take my man
No, you ain't woman enough to take my man

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The Meaning Behind Loretta Lynn's 'You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)'