Dear Uncle Sam

Album: I Like 'Em Country (1966)
  • In this #4 country hit, Loretta Lynn sings from the perspective of a woman whose husband is killed in the Vietnam War. Lynn was skeptical when her husband, Doolittle, suggested she write a war song after they heard one of several news bulletins on the radio about the conflict. "He looked over at me and said, 'Loretta, why don't you write a song about the war?'," she recalled in her 2012 book Honky Tonk Girl: My Life In Lyrics. "I said, 'Doo, I don't know anything good about war, so I really don't know what there is good to write about it.' He said, 'What's wrong with writing to Uncle Sam?' And I realized he's the man that all the mothers ought to write to."
  • That's Nashville saxophonist Boots Randolph playing "Taps" throughout the climax. Lynn said they had to do a little creative thinking to get the right sound: "They put him in the bathroom of the studio with the door open because the sound was not sounding right in the studio."
  • When Lynn plays this live, she always dedicates it to her husband.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Kerry Livgren of KansasSongwriter Interviews

In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."

Gavin Rossdale of BushSongwriter Interviews

On the "schizoid element" of his lyrics, and a famous line from "Everything Zen."

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Brian Kehew: The Man Behind The RemastersSong Writing

Brian has unearthed outtakes by Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello and hundreds of other artists for reissues. Here's how he does it.

Artis the SpoonmanSong Writing

Even before Soundgarden wrote a song about him, Artis was the most famous spoon player of all time. So why has he always been broke?

Famous Singers' First FilmsSong Writing

A look at the good (Diana Ross, Eminem), the bad (Madonna, Bob Dylan) and the peculiar (David Bowie, Michael Jackson) film debuts of superstar singers.