Loretta Lynn's 'Ruby's Stool' Song Is a Honky-Tonk Battle Cry - Rolling Stone
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Song You Need to Know: Loretta Lynn’s Honky-Tonk Battle Cry ‘Ruby’s Stool’

The 86-year-old’s new song is biting and full of backwoods wit

Loretta Lynn had her first Number One country hit in 1966 with “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind).” More than 50 years later at, age 86, she can still deliver a badass barroom anthem. On her new song “Ruby’s Stool,” from her new album Wouldn’t it Be Great (out September 28th) Lynn tells the story of watching from the sidelines as her man dances with a no-good honky-tonk girl and contemplating how to handle her: “I’m gonna sit right here and empty this ashtray in her beer / I can’t wait to see her drinkin from that can!” she sings. A chorus follows that’s classic Loretta – hyper-specific biting and full of backwoods wit. Loretta’s daughter Patsy Lynn Russell said “When I hear that song, I have to smile, because I’m like, ‘She’s still got it. She still has it when she writes those songs.”

We’ve heard Loretta sing about women like this before: a statement says the song (co-written with Shawn Camp, who has crafted hits with Garth Brooks, George Strait and more) was made in the tradition of “Fist City” and “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” inspired by a real couple Lynn knew playing the Texas bar scene. And the song is produced just like her classic material: fiddle, honky-tonk piano and steel guitar and her indelible voice front and center. Hearing the Coal Miner’s Daughter sing like this again feels like an old friend returning home – one who’s not afraid to give you shit.


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