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Lorrie Morgan’s “What Part of No” Is A Spirited Anthem Of Female Empowerment

Lorrie Morgan + What Part of No
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Here’s our note to all the men straight out of Lorrie Morgan’s signature hit, “What Part of No.” Putting it plain and simple, No” is a complete sentence. And to all the women, celebrate your strength and assert your boundaries. These men should know better.  

Released in December 1992 as the second single off her third album, Watch Me, “What Part of no (Don’t You Understand)” was written by Wayne Perry and Gerald Smith and produced by Richard Landis under BNA. It featured classic country sounds, with lively, twangy guitars, a catchy melody, and a strong vocal delivery, earning her a number-one hit on the Billboard charts. And not only was it a chart-topper, but it also became her biggest hit to date. 

Meaning Behind the Song 

One of the queens of the ‘90s country music scene and successor of the revered “First Lady” of the genre, Tammy Wynette, Lorrie Morgan wasn’t afraid to feistily push back with her songs. One of those was her kiss-off track to men, “What Part of No.”

The song’s lyrics revolve around a woman who stands firm in her refusal to engage in the persistent advances of a man. And she didn’t beat around the bush in doing so. Right off the first line of the first verse, she sings, “Sir, if you don’t mind, I’d rather be alone.” She then went on to tell the man off that she had told him not only once but twice that she wasn’t interested in romance. 

Morgan then hit it in the chorus with, “What part of no don’t you understand?” She continues to express her frustration as she offers to explain her answer if it’s too hard for the man to comprehend. 

In the second verse, she goes a little bit apologetic, saying she appreciated the gesture and didn’t mean to be mean. By modern standards, this is still kind of nice. After all, she didn’t need to say sorry or explain herself. It’s not her fault. No is no. But in 1993, this packed a punch. 

Despite her apology, she knows to stand her ground. And she makes sure to assert her boundaries by emphasizing that she doesn’t need company. Once again, she asks the man what part of no did he not understand. And she repeats it three more times to drive her message home. 

Men and women, listen to Lorrie Morgan’s “What Part of No” in the video below and take some notes. Once you’re done, tune in to other Lorrie Morgan songs that we carefully curated just for you. 

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