The Loretta Lynn Songs Every Southerner Should Know By Heart

We'll treasure her music and her legacy forever.

Loretta Lynn
Photo: Jay West / Contributor/Getty

There’s no denying that Loretta Lynn is a legend. Over the course of her six decade career, she racked up number one hits, had a book and a movie made about her life, and sang her heart out on tracks that resonated with the world. Along the way she earned four Grammy Awards, was inducted into more music Halls of Fame than any female recording artists, and became the first woman to be named the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year in 1972. So, yes, Southern icon status unlocked.

When you’ve achieved that level of fame—and wrote songs like “Fist City”—you and your songs deserve to be remembered forever. Here are some of her songs that every Southerner should know—and if you have a road trip planned to Lynn’s home in Hurricane Mills, this will double as a playlist.

“Coal Miner’s Daughter”

This is Lynn’s signature song and even passing fans should be able to hum along in the car. The autobiographical track about her childhood in the mountains of Kentucky lent its name to both her autobiography and to the Academy Award-winning film about her life.

“Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”

This barn-storming track was Lynn’s first number 1 hit. There’s no doubt it was such a smash because it is an incredibly relatable sentiment, delivered in a breezy manner, even if the undertones of the song are serious. In an ironic twist, Billboard reports that this “song peaked at the top during Valentine’s week of 1967.”

“Fist City”

One of Lynn’s most memorable songs not only for its catchy melody, but for its eyebrow-raising lyrics. Like on “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin”, she manages to offer a singalong-in-the-car take on an otherwise serious subject. While threatening to send someone to “fist city” would be frowned on in songs (or life) these days, she makes her point clear and it’s fun to crank up when you’re feeling feisty.

“I’m a Honky Tonk Girl”

This was Lynn’s first single and, according to the country music legend, was written not long after her husband, Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn gave her a guitar for an anniversary present. He definitely got a good return on his gift, starting with this fun country swing track about an independent woman making her way in the world sung in Lynn’s trademark twang.

“Blue Kentucky Girl”

While this tune about a heartsick young woman was written by Johnny Mullins, Lynn made it very much her own. She fully embodies the lonesome heartbreak of a girl waiting to be remembered by her beau who was lured away by “the bright lights of the town.” It’s a romantic tearjerker that was later turned into a hit by Emmylou Harris.

“You Ain't Woman Enough (to Take My Man)”

Lynn is a strong woman and this song features the singer at her strongest. She looks the so-called “other woman” in the eye and dares her to try it.

“Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man”

Lynn and her frequent duet partner Conway Twitty team up once again on this track to give a voice to long-distance lovers. The couple is separated by the Mississippi River, but there is “too much love” in their hearts that even the Mighty Mississippi and a few alligators can’t keep them apart. It’s a sweet, if slightly silly, song sung by two legends who made it incredibly memorable.

“You're Lookin' at Country”

If there was any doubt that Lynn is a country girl through-and-through, this song should lay that to rest. This infectious tune is chock-full of wholesome imagery, rural pride, and reminders that she grew up “runnin’ barefoot through the old cornfields” and loves some “country ham”. The song got a second wind when it was featured in her biopic, Coal Miner’s Daughter.

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