In 1966, Loretta Lynn released her second studio album, called “You Ain’t Woman Enough.” The album’s title came from its lead single, which went on to become Lynn’s biggest hit up to that point after it peaked at the second spot on the Billboard country charts.
Today, “You Ain’t Woman Enough” is considered to be one of Lynn’s most iconic songs. While filming her recently-released documentary for PBS, Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl, Lynn recalled the unusual story of what inspired her to write the song.
Prior to one of her shows, Lynn was hanging out in her dressing room with pin curls in her hair when she was surprised to see one of her fans standing in front of her. Apparently, the woman had somehow found her way backstage, and she had a special request for Lynn.
“She was telling me about this girl, she was trying to take her husband away from her,” Lynn explained. “[She] said, ‘I want you, when you can, peek out the curtain and I’m gonna show you where he’s sittin’, and her, she’s sittin’ right beside of him.’“
Curious, Lynn walked with her fan to the curtain, and peeked through to get a good look at her husband and the woman that was trying to steal him away. After looking out into the audience, the next thing Loretta had to say ended up becoming her now-iconic song:
“I looked out there and I seen this painted up girl you know? She was really painted up. The little girl that was standing there beside of me, she didn’t have any makeup on, but she was a beautiful little girl. I looked back at that girl and I said ‘honey she ain’t woman enough to take your man.'”
As soon as she said those words, Lynn knew they could make a good song. She rushed back to her dressing room to start writing, and within ten minutes the song was finished.
Not only is the story behind the creation of “You Ain’t Woman Enough” an interesting one, but it proves just how talented Lynn is as a songwriter. You can listen to her full interview in the video below.
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