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In 1966, Loretta Lynn released her second studio album, called You Ain’t Woman Enough.
The album’s title came from its lead single. After its release, “You Ain’t Woman Enough” became Lynn’s biggest hit up to that point. 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 2016 documentary for PBS, Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl, Lynn recalled the unusual story behind 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. She was suddenly surprised to see one of her fans standing in front of her. Apparently, the woman found her way backstage, and 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.’“
After that, Lynn walked with her fan to the curtain. She peeked to look at her husband and the woman who was trying to take him. Then, the next thing Loretta said eventually became her 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.'”
Once she said those words, Lynn knew they could make a good song. Afterward, she rushed back to her dressing room to start writing. Within ten minutes, the song was finished.
The story behind the creation of “You Ain’t Woman Enough” proves Lynn’s songwriting talent. You can listen to her full interview in the video below.