Songs That Were Banned: Loretta Lynn – The Pill

There’s a gonna be some changes made, Right here on nursery hill, You’ve set this chicken your last time, ‘Cause now I’ve got the pill

By the time Loretta Lynn recorded “The Pill” in 1975, the birth control pill had been on the US market for over a decade, but the conservative country music scene still wasn’t ready for a song celebrating the use of contraception. Many country stations pulled the song from their playlists and it stalled at #5 in the Billboard Album Chart. But controversy breeds curiosity and curiosity boost record sales, so the song became Lynn’s highest-charting solo single on the pop chart at #70 in the Billboard 100.

Loretta Lynn: “If I’d had the pill back when I was havin’ babies I’d have taken ’em like popcorn. The pill is good for people. I wouldn’t trade my kids for anyones. But I wouldn’t necessarily have had six and I sure would have spaced ’em better.”

“The Pill”, written by Lorene Allen, Don McHan, T. D. Bayless, and Loretta Lynn.

From Songfacts

 The singer couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about. In our interview with Loretta Lynn, she explained: “I didn’t understand that, because everybody was taking the pill. I didn’t have the money to take it when they put it out, but I couldn’t understand why they were raising such a fuss over taking the pill.”

Although it was written by a team of songwriters, Lorene Allen, Don McHan, and T. D. Bayless, Lynn could certainly relate to the narrator who is sick of having babies left and right and is “makin’ up for all those years, since I’ve got the pill.” By the time she was 19, Lynn had three children and would give birth to three more, including a set of twins, just as the pill was gaining traction by 1964. 

Doctors were grateful to Lynn as the song introduced the availability of the pill to women living in rural areas.

Unbeknownst to Lynn at the time, she was almost banned from singing this at the Grand Ole Opry. She recalled in an interview with Playgirl Magazine: “You know I sung it three times at the Grand Ole Opry one night, and I found out a week later that the Grand Ole Opry had a three-hour meeting, and they weren’t going to let me [sing it]… If they hadn’t let me sing the song, I’d have told them to shove the Grand Ole Opry!”

Lynn performed this on Dolly Parton’s variety show, Dolly, in 1988, and on Roseanne Barr’s talk show, The Roseanne Show, in 1998.

This is the first popular English-language song about birth control.

The Pill

You wined me and dined me
When I was your girl
Promised if I’d be your wife
You’d show me the world
But all I’ve seen of this old world
Is a bed and a doctor bill
I’m tearin’ down your brooder house
‘Cause now I’ve got the pill
All these years I’ve stayed at home
While you had all your fun
And every year that’s gone by
Another babys come
There’s a gonna be some changes made
Right here on nursery hill
You’ve set this chicken your last time
‘Cause now I’ve got the pill

This old maternity dress I’ve got
Is goin’ in the garbage
The clothes I’m wearin’ from now on
Won’t take up so much yardage
Miniskirts, hot pants and a few little fancy frills
Yeah I’m makin’ up for all those years
Since I’ve got the pill

I’m tired of all your crowin’
How you and your hens play
While holdin’ a couple in my arms
Another’s on the way
This chicken’s done tore up her nest
And I’m ready to make a deal
And ya can’t afford to turn it down
‘Cause you know I’ve got the pill

This incubator is overused
Because you’ve kept it filled
The feelin’ good comes easy now
Since I’ve got the pill
It’s gettin’ dark it’s roostin’ time
Tonight’s too good to be real
Oh but daddy don’t you worry none
‘Cause mama’s got the pill
Oh daddy don’t you worry none
‘Cause mama’s got the pill


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

13 thoughts on “Songs That Were Banned: Loretta Lynn – The Pill”

  1. Never heard that one ! Maybe I would have if I listened to specific country music stations back then, but givven the controversy maybe not!
    I can see why it was largely banned but that’s not at all to say I agree with it. IT’s always struck me as horribly misplaced values and priorities that the U.S. censors so much regarding sex but is willing to turn a blind eye to almost any amount of gratuitous violence in entertainment. To me that is much more harmful and likely to twist “impressionable young minds” but I’m in a minority in these parts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No I agree with you. You can’t see breasts but can see someone being blown to pieces. I never understood that concept.
      In the south it was much worse…I have to say it’s not as bad as it was…it is getting better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I applaud the sentiments of this song though I never liked the song itself. All the references to roosters and chickens. I get it, I just don’t like the analogy. That’s not to say that I don’t like Loretta Lynn. I do. Just not this song. Stupid that it was banned–but that’s country radio for ya.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you on the terms she used. I cringe when I hear them but like you I agree with what she said. It tickled me that in an interview she said she woudl have eaten them like popcorn if they were around in the sixties.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Her take on the subject matter was highly welcome, but even more than that, I appreciate how Loretta has always so insistently done her own thing. She seems to still be that way, at 87 years old.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really admire that lady…I have said this before on the blog so I apologize for repeating if you have seen it but when I was 8 years old my mom and I were at her Ranch that was open to the public…Loretta came out and pointed at us to come over…she talked to mom (single divorced mom)she took us in and we ate breakfast with her. Why she picked us I don’t know…It was really cool but I couldn’t appreciate it at the time being so young. She was so gracious.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Women must have safety in speaking their minds. As many women aren’t safe in their own homes, she was so important in speaking out to them, then and now.


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