"D-I-V-O-R-C-E" is an American country music song written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman, and made famous by Tammy Wynette Wynette's version was a number one country hit in 1968
- 1 Background
- 2 Chart performance
- 3 Cover versions
- 4 Use in film
- 5 Parodies
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Just a year after Wynette scored her first hit with "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad," she had already gained a reputation for catering to the female perspective in country music that, according to country music writer Kurt Wolff, audiences badly craved Her repertoire already included songs that urged understanding and forgiveness, but critics noted she had also become adept at singing songs of heartbreak In Wolff's words, "When the end of the road was reached, she also spoke plainly of the hard issues facing modern day couples"
Recorded in 1968, "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" is a woman's perspective on the impending collapse of her marriage The lyrics begin with an old parenting trick of spelling out words mothers and fathers hope their young children will not understand, they the children being not yet able to spell or comprehend the word's meaning In this case, the soon-to-be-divorcee spells out words such as "divorce", "Joe" the name of the woman's four-year-old son, "hell", and "custody" to shield the young, carefree boy from the cruel, harsh realities of the world and the ultimate breakup of his mother and father
Country music historian Bill Malone wrote that Wynette's own tumultuous life five marriages "encompassed the jagged reality so many women have faced" Therefore, he asserts that Wynette identified so well with "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"; her rendition, Malone wrote, is "painfully sincere—there is no irony here—and if there is a soap opera quality to the dialogue, the content well mirrors both her own life and contemporary experience"
Wolff, meanwhile, hailed the song as "tearjerking as any country song before or since It approaches parody, but stops just short thanks to the sincerity of Tammy's quivering voice"
"D-I-V-O-R-C-E" was released in May 1968, and was one of Wynette's fastest-climbing songs to that time It reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart that June, and was also a minor pop hit, stopping at No 63 on the Billboard Hot 100
In 1975, a Tammy Wynette greatest hits album was released in the UK Two of the songs from this album ascended the British pop chart that year, with "Stand by Your Man" reaching the top of the chart in April and "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" climbing to a peak position of #12 in July
|US Billboard Hot Country Singles||1|
|US Billboard Hot 100||63|
|Canadian RPM Country Tracks||1|
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||74|
|Dutch Top 40||9|
|UK Singles Chart||12|
- Hour Glass for their album Hour Glass 1967
- Dottie West for her album Feminine Fancy 1968
- Liz Anderson for her alburm Like A Merry Go Round 1968
- Norma Jean singer for her album Love's A Woman's Job 1968
- Dolly Parton for her album In the Good Old Days 1969
- Peggy Little for her album A Little Bit of Peggy 1969
- Rosanne Cash on the 1998 tribute album Tammy Wynette Remembered sung on the television special for the album by Lynn Anderson
- Melinda Schneider and Beccy Cole covered the song on their album Great Women of Country 2014
Use in film
- The original Tammy Wynette recording features in the films Five Easy Pieces 1970 and Wynette's 1973 re-recording of the song which originally appeared on her Kids Say the Darndest Things 1973 album appeared in Brokeback Mountain 2005
- BACON and EGGS was performed primarily by Homer and Jethro
- REFEREE written and sung by Max Boyce, as a response to a controversial refereeing decision in the 1974 Five Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham
- A comic version sung by Scottish comedian Billy Connolly lyrics written by Wilma H Polmont, with a dog in place of the little boy in the lyrics and spelled out words such as vet and quarantine, was a No 1 hit the UK in November 1975
- The musical number "UNCOUPLED" from the musical Starlight Express also parodies "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"
- The Circle Jerks a punk rock group from Southern California released a medley of pop songs in 1983 entitled Golden Shower of Hits that includes the first verse and chorus of "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"
- At the 2009 CMA Awards, co-hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood sang a parody of the song to indicate the recent announcement that country music duo Brooks & Dunn is splitting
- ^ a b c Wolff, Kurt, "Country Music: The Rough Guide," Rough Guides Ltd, London; Penguin Putnam, New York, distributor p 424 ISBN 1-85828-534-8, p 334-335
- ^ Malone, Bill, "The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music" booklet included with The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Country Music 8-volume set Smithsonian Institution, 1981
- ^ Whitburn, Joel 2004 The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition Record Research p 399
- ^ Billboard singles charts info AllMusiccom Retrieved 29 July 2009
- ^ "Tammy Wynette - Full Official Chart History" Official Charts Company Official Charts Company Retrieved 20 January 2016
- ^ "Billy Connolly - Full Official Chart History" Official Charts Company Retrieved 20 January 2016
- Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
"I Wanna Live"
by Glen Campbell
|Billboard Hot Country Singles
June 29-July 13, 1968
"Folsom Prison Blues"
by Johnny Cash
|RPM Country Tracks
June 29-July 13, 1968
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