Loretta Lynn’s ‘Don’t Come Home a Drinkin (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)’: Story Behind the Song

by Emily Morgan
loretta-lynns-dont-come-home-drinkin-with-lovin-on-your-mind-story-behind-song

In her first No. 1 country hit, Loretta Lynn held nothing back. Lynn, an iconic country music songstress, can describe love in the most poetic way. She connected with married women everywhere when she released “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” in 1966. 

For any wife that’s ever been wronged by their husband, this one’s for you. Even if you’re single, it’s still for you. Lets’ face it: Loretta Lynn is for everyone. 

The Marriage That Inspired Loretta Lynn’s Hit

In the song, an alcoholic husband who gets drunk with his buddies comes home expecting to get it on with his fed-up wife. 

Lynn could undoubtedly relate to the song. Quite often, the turmoil in her marriage stemmed from her husband’s alcoholism. 

Yet Loretta Lynn got the inspiration from her sister, Peggy Sue, to write the tune. 

Peggy Sue also struggled with the same issues in her first marriage and brought the idea to Lynn. 

Loretta Lynn recalled in Honky Tonk Girl: My Life In Lyrics: “I looked at what she had on paper, and I kind of knew what she was trying to say. It’s like when there’s twins, the old saying is, ‘What one can’t think of, the other one can.’ I’ve always had this feeling with Peggy that I am kind of inside her head. Maybe it’s because she means so much to me. We can look at each other and know what the other is thinking. Sometimes it’s not good to be like that, but when the song was finished, we both thought it was great.”

It is one of her best-known songs, and she’s never failed to include it in her live shows. 

“Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin'” didn’t reach the top spot until February 11, 1967, beating Jack Greene’s No. 1 hit from late 1966, “There Goes My Everything.” 

The song was the first of 16 No. 1 hits Lynn would have throughout her career. 

The song kicked off a decade that would bring Lynn some of her biggest hits in her lifetime. 

Due to the song’s overwhelming success, Lynn became the first female country entertainer to win the CMA Awards’ “Female Vocalist of the Year” award in 1967.

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