Story Behind the Song

Do you know that whenever Loretta Lynn sings this song, she had always dedicated it to her husband? That’s what we call true love. Country Legend Loretta Lynn wrote and recorded this song from the perspective of a woman whose husband is going to the Vietnam War. She was skeptical when her husband, Doolittle Lynn requested her to write a song about the war after. Loretta Lynn recalled their conversation as,

“He looked over at me and said, ‘Loretta, why don’t you write a song about the war?’ I said, ‘Doo, I don’t know anything good about war, so I really don’t know what there is good to write about it.’ He said, ‘What’s wrong with writing to Uncle Sam?’ And I realized he’s the man that all the mothers ought to write to.”

In 1955, the Vietnam War started. However, the involvement of US escalated only during the first half of the 60’s. Then the public’s disquiet grew and became much more evident in 1967. A year before that, while protest singers were becoming more louder on the pop genre, a few country artists were even acknowledging the war. I Loretta Lynn’s position, the song made it clear, she loves her country but she also loves her man.

The Success

Loretta Lynn recorded “Dear Uncle Sam” on November 15, 1965, at Columbia Recording Studio. The record was produced by Owen Bradley. Three additional tracks were included during this session. “Dear Uncle Sam” was the first song Loretta Lynn wrote that entered the Country Music Charts. It reached the No. 4 spot in the Billboard’s Hot Country Chart a week after its release. The record also became her seventh top ten singles on the country chart. Unfortunately, it only topped on the No. 4 spot. However, she followed it up with “You Ain’t Woman Enough” which performed better. It reached the No. 2 spot before Loretta Lynn landed her first No. 1 hit, “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind).”