Loretta Lynn: Women’s Prison

March 24, 2008

This was sent in by Brenda Lynn Baker (relation?). “Woman’s Prison” is from Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose album produced by Jack White (The White Stripes). I admit that for the first two minutes I kept wanting to hit the stop button, but I watched and listened to the whole thing. This is the story of a woman on death row for killing her cheating husband. There is a magical island that hovers 2/3rds of the way through this song. The insertion of a quotation as a prayer was worth the wait. If I’m not mistaken, this is a senior Loretta singing, and the aged timbre is an effective one in telling this story.

I’m not clear that Loretta approved of the video, I assume that it is solely the work of its director, Katie Madonna Lee. The credits are virtually illegible. I’d love to hear Aaron Fox‘s take on this song.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brad Wood March 31, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Gritty but still cool in its way.

Doing time is a C&W cliché of course. For some the prison life, and generally the life of crime, is the reality. We can cluck our tongues and imagine that such could never be our own lot—but it’s not that far away from a potential realm, especially as we move into the brave new world of jingoistic “patriotism” and thought crime.

The timeliness: I went websearching last night for any possible presence of an ancient ex, and found it as an entirely plausible legal document about a rejected appeal, circa 1992, entered for this individual against a 15 year sentence being served in Oregon for attempted murder. I haven’t seen or heard from this person since about 1973, but based on the trajectory then, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t him.

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