Study Guide

Coal Miner's Daughter

Coal Miner's Daughter Introduction

In a Nutshell

Back in 1999, a lot of people caught the Y2K Bug. 

People thought that on New Year's Eve, when the new millennium commenced, all computer operating systems were going to crash and leave the nation in a blackout, without light, food, or water. And you could forget about heat or air conditioning. The more paranoid folks purchased generators, hoarded bottled water and energy bars, and hunkered down for doomsday.

Alas, all those Costco trips were wasted, and on January 1st, 2000, business continued as usual. Relief prevailed, but there was maybe a little disappointment, too. Living off the grid might have sounded a little romantic.

Country music legend Loretta Lynn wrote in her 2002 memoir that the risk of a great millennial blackout didn't make her even the slightest bit nervous.  Her reason was simple. "I lived without electricity, indoor plumbing, or central heat every day of my life until I was a grown woman," said Lynn. Her family often hunted for food to avoid going hungry, she'd never heard of air conditioning, and she didn't see a car until she was 13. 

Lynn, born in 1934 in rural Eastern Kentucky, lived the life of a coal miner's daughter. In her autobiographical hit "Coal Miner's Daughter," there's definitely no bottled water or back-up generators.

But living off the grid ain't the worst thing that can happen to a girl either.

About the Song

ArtistLynn, Loretta
Year1970
LabelDecca
Writer(s)Loretta Lynn
Producer(s)Owen Bradley
Musician(s)Loretta Lynn (vocals)
Learn to playTablature
AlbumCoal Miner's Daughter

Music Video

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Influences on Lynn, Loretta

Kitty Wells
Patsy Cline
Conway Twitty
Ernest Tubb

Influenced by Lynn, Loretta

Dolly Parton
Dixie Chicks
Chely Wright
Barbara Mandrell
Reba McEntire
Janie Fricke
Sherrie Austin
Leigh Nash
Angela Easterling

Coal Miner's Daughter Resources

Books

Loretta Lynn with Patsi Bale Cox, Still Woman Enough (2002)
Lynn, still famous and beloved, updates fans about the trials and tribulations of her later life including the deaths of her son, her husband, and her mother.

Loretta Lynn with George Vescey, Coal Miner's Daughter (1976)
This is the portal to Loretta Lynn's personal gossip and great attitude.

Albums

Coal Miner's Daughter (1970)
This album packs a punch beyond just the first song.

Loretta Lynn: All Time Greatest Hits (2002)
This is the shortcut to Lynn's most well-known work; it's a good companion to her memoirs because she refers to these hit songs all the time.

Images

Coal Miner's Daughter Album Cover
Just one of her many albums, this one's title track became an iconic song for Loretta Lynn.

Loretta Lynn and Sissy Spacek
Spacek spent a year with Lynn learning how to sing, walk, and talk just like her in preparation for the 1980 movie, Coal Miner's Daughter, and they became great friends. Here's a photo of them singing "You Ain't Woman Enough (to Take My Man)" together in 1979.

Movies & TV

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
You have to see this movie.

Websites

Loretta Lynn's Official Site
Loretta Lynn's site is a great resource for updates, a biography, and plenty of awesome interviews.

EIA Energy Kids Page on Coal
We'll go ahead and say that this page is great for all ages, not just kids. Easy-to-read explanations of how coal is mined, what it's used for, and why it's an environmental concern—brought to you by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, surprisingly enough.

Video & Audio

NPR's Interview with Loretta Lynn, "The Story Behind Loretta Lynn's 'Coal Miner's Daughter'" (2000)
Get a taste of her amazing attitude and charming accent.

NPR's Fresh Air Interview with Loretta Lynn, "Loretta Lynn's Full Life" (2010)
Here's a meaty half-hour interview with Loretta Lynn. You can listen to the audio or read the transcript.