Singer-Songwriter Todd Snider Recalls Writing Songs with Loretta Lynn

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

There’s no way to overstate Loretta Lynn’s impact on country music. Millions of people love the songs she wrote and recorded. However, it was more than her music that made Loretta an inspiration to generations of artists. Over the years, she treated younger and up-and-coming artists like her equals. In the 80s and 90s, she was close with The Judds and a handful of other artists. More recently, she worked alongside singer-songwriter, Todd Snider.

Todd Snider opened up about his relationship with Loretta Lynn in a recent piece for Variety. In it, he talked about spending time with her and revealed what it was like to write songs with the icon. Snider notes that he met Loretta through her daughter Peggy who is married to one of his closest friends.

Todd Snider Remembers Loretta Lynn

It seems that Loretta Lynn took to Todd Snider pretty quickly. “She asked if I wanted to try to write a song. We sat at her office and wrote a song called ‘Don’t Tempt Me’ and I just remember that we were laughing the whole time and that I felt like I’d really made a friend.

Snider included “Don’t Tempt Me” on his 2009 album The Excitement Plan. Check it out below.

Snider Finds a Goldmine

Later, Loretta Lynn invited Todd Snider to her house to write another song. For this session, the pair went to Lynn’s writing cabin. “We were playing guitars and talking about what we could sing about,” Snider recalled. Then, Lynn told him to go check the refrigerator. He opened it and what he found floored him. “When I opened it a bunch of yellow legal pads with her words written all over them fell onto the floor. The refrigerator was stuffed completely full of bits of lyrics by Loretta Lynn that went back to the ‘60s.”

While he stared at the goldmine he’d stumbled upon, Loretta Lynn told him “Smoke one of your doobies and go through those. See if anything jumps out at you.” Before long, something grabbed him. He found a lyric that read, “I love you more than she ever will, but the only way she can get a man is steal. I don’t know if I should tell you this or not, but she’s got everything it takes to take everything you’ve got.”

Todd Snider recalled being stricken by the lines. “Loretta, my God, what is this,” he asked her. “Oh yeah,” Loretta Lynn replied, “I remember that little b*tch.”

Loretta asked Todd to sing the lyrics he’d just read. He had to make the melody up on the spot but didn’t hesitate. From there, he said, Lynn took over the writing session. “Then she made up the rest, as if ‘we’ were doing it. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, but not ‘cause I was talking,” Snider recalled.

That song became “Everything It Takes” from Loretta Lynn’s 2016 album Full Circle. On the album, Lynn shares vocal duties with Elvis Costello. Check it out below.