This song about a woman in Topeka, Kansas who has a bunch of kids and is pregnant with another. It was written by Shel Silverstein, who was a Jewish guy from Chicago famous for his children's books like Where The Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree. Silverstein's nephew Mitch Myers explains: "He was a storyteller. He was depicting this woman who was kind of in the middle of her life, and that was being a mother and a housewife and not much else. And that contrasted with 'The Ballad of Lucy Jordan,' which Shel wrote, and was used in two different movies, most notably Thelma And Louise, and most notably performed by Marianne Faithfull. There's a woman who was in her middle class home and everything is fine in terms of comfort and aesthetics, and she goes crazy." (Mitch is author of Silverstein Around the World, which contains many more stories about Shel. Learn more in our interview with Mitch Myers.)
This was a #1 country hit and one of Lynn's best known songs. On the first pressings of the song, it was titled "Here In Topeka."
Loretta Lynn could certainly relate to the ever-pregnant woman in this song: she explained to NPR that she was pregnant nine times, with six children and three miscarriages.
In our interview with Loretta Lynn, she said that this song and "The Pill" were the two that caused the most controversy. Said Lynn, "With 'One's on the Way,' I thought everybody had a baby. I sure did. I didn't think anybody else was too good to."