Loretta Lynn: 20 Essential Songs

From her signature "Coal Miner's Daughter" to her duet with Jack White "Portland, Oregon"

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"Coal Miner's Daughter" (1970)

It should be an assignment for aspiring writers: tell your life story in three minutes or less. Lynn did just that with "Coal Miner's Daughter," which became her signature song and inspired a motion picture. With astonishing economy, the pride of Butcher Holler details her sparse but happy childhood — "Daddy loved and raised eight kids on a miner's pay/ Mommy scrubbed our clothes on a washboard ever' day" —  and the things they did keep shoes on their feet (specifically, sell a hog). She ends the tune in a place of greater means, but undeniably proud of where she's been.

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