Honky tonk is a staple for country music singers and songwriters. Loretta Lynn made her debut with 1960’s “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl”, a tale of a broken-hearted woman turning to the honky tonk for comfort. Lynn later released an unlikely response to barroom culture with her 1964’s “Wine, Women and Song,” in which a wife condemns her husband’s womanizing and vicious ways and threatens to take up honky tonking herself.
“Wine, Women, and Song” was the historical equivalent of today’s phrase “drug, sex, and rock & roll”. They mean the same thing. Loretta Lynn has a song with this title, which she released as a single in 1964, featured on her second studio album Before I’m Over You.
“Wine, Women, and Song”, Its Standing, Its Story
“Wine, Women and Song”, written by Betty Sue, was recorded at the Columbia Recording Studio on February 26, 1964. It reached number three on the Billboard Hot Country Singles survey in 1963. The song became her third top ten single under the Decca recording label.
This early Lynn single combines a sparkly, spindly piano melody and an absolutely Rhythm and Blues influence. Moreover, it purposes as a thematic forerunner to her later work. The character in the song is a wife sick of her husband stepping out on her while she is working hard around the house. She is dreaming of one day making sure her no-good, the money-lavish husband will get his fair share. A promise she later fulfilled with songs such as “Don’t Come Home a-Drinkin’ (with Lovin’ On Your Mind).
Loretta Lynn hardly plays the role of an understanding wife on her songs. This song propels her gutsy mixture of humor and indignation. There is total sarcasm in the way the song was written although Loretta still showed a wide smile performing it. This attitude just makes the song more exciting to listen to. Showing Lynn’s material and signature strong honky-tonk women trait are the lyrics,
“Well one of these nights you gonna come home you find it’s comin’ home to you,
You see what you’ve done and what’s good for one it’s also good for two.
When you in the doghouse with the mingy ole pup,
You may start to thinkin’ and a givin’ up your wine women and song.”
Seriously now, who would not love this song?
I’M A HONKY TONK GIRL’, Loretta Lynn
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