"The Pill" is a 1975 country music song recorded by Loretta Lynn. It is one of her best known songs as well as the most controversial record of her career.
Despite having the same name and similar themes, it is not related to "The Pill," written by Scottish folk musician Matt McGinn and performed in the United States by Pete Seeger.
About the song
"The Pill", written by Lorene Allen, Don McHan, and T. D. Bayless, is a comic-tinged song about birth control. The song tells a story of a wife who is upset about her husband getting her pregnant year after year, but is now happy because she can control her own reproductive choices because she has "the pill" (which had been introduced in 1960). The song, like many of Lynn's other hits suggested her personal life (she'd had six children, two of whom were born before she had turned 19).
The song's frank discussion of birth control, something that was considered risqué subject matter at the time, especially in country music, led to a number of country radio stations refusing to play it. The song received much publicity and airplay on the stations that would air it but its ban from a number of radio stations caused the record to stall at number five on the charts at a time when a Loretta Lynn record was almost guaranteed to be a top three hit, often a number one record. Nevertheless it earned her more press and attention outside the country market than anything she had ever recorded before and ultimately became her highest-charting pop single, peaking at #70 on the Hot 100.
Recorded in 1972 and held back by her label, the song was finally released in 1975, Lynn's first single that year. The single was released on her 1975 album, Back to Country and was the only single released from the album.
Influence of song
In an interview for Playgirl Magazine, Lynn recounted how she had been congratulated after the song's success by a number of rural physicians, telling her how "The Pill" had done more to highlight the availability of birth control in isolated, rural areas, than all the literature they'd released.