Witty Songs

ŠTed Schaar 2011

15.  "You're the Reason Our Kids are Ugly."

Written by L.E. White and Lola Jean Dillon who recorded their version in 1977, this finger-pointer was re-recorded by superstars Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn in 1978.46

Lynn has an amazingly authentic country history.  She was born and spent her early life in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, which is 126 miles southeast of Lexington.   A "holler" is actually a southern dialect take on the word hollow, which in the geographic sense, means valley.47  Lynn was born on a hill in the hollow and had seven brothers and sisters, including Crystal Gayle, her youngest sibling and also a star.  She married a moonshiner nicknamed Doo and Mooney in 1946 at age 13,48  had four children by the time she was 19, was a grandmother at 29,49  and became country music's reigning queen by her late 30s.  

Born one year after Lynn, Conway Twitty started out as a rock and roller and had a hit with the monumental "Only Make Believe," which was released in 1958 and topped pop charts in the US and England.50  He co-wrote the song with multi-instrumentalist Jack Nance who was primarily the drummer in the Rock Housers, Twitty's band at the time.  His group was later renamed the Twitty Birds,51  and by the mid-sixties, he switched to country music.  He could still rock out and was an excellent guitarist, as his version of "Johnny B. Goode" from 1969 demonstrates: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xby0pm_conway-twitty-the-twitty-birds-john_music.

Lynn and Twitty began singing duets in 1971 and soon recorded five Number 1 records.52   Their "You're the Reason Our Kids are Ugly" includes several lines either not in or different from the Dillion and White original.  The first occurs in the second verse and it's great mainly because of Lynn's amazingly deep southern drawl.  When she sings "wires" in the added line, it becomes almost "wher-ers."

Another striking difference is the change from a mention of Phyllis Diller in the Dillion and White version to Ruth Buzzi in Lynn and Twitty's.  They, their producers, or record company execs might have been aiming for a younger demographic with Buzzi who was born almost 20 years after Diller and was perhaps better known among young people because of her Laugh-In appearances.  (Visit YouTube [Lynn-Twitty] for the song).

Lyrics

Twitty:

Lynn:

Both:



Twitty:

Lynn:
 
Both:





Lynn:

Twitty:

Both:



Lynn:


Twitty:


Lynn: 


Twitty:

Lynn:

Twitty:

Lynn:

Twitty:
You're the reason I'm a-ridin' around on recapped tires

And you're the reason I'm hangin' our clothes outside on wires.

And you're the reason our kids are ugly, little darlin'
Ah, but looks ain't ev'rythin' and money ain't ev'rythin'
But I love you just the same

You're the reason I've changed to beer from soda pop

And you're the reason I never get to go to the beauty shop

You're the reason our kids are ugly, little darlin'
Ah, but looks ain't ev'rythin', and money ain't ev'rythin'
But I love you just the same.
I guess that we won't ever have everything we need
'Cause when we get a head it's got another mouth to feed

And that's the reason that my good looks and my figure is gone

And that's the reason that I ain't got no hair to comb

And you're the reason our kids are ugly, little darlin'
Ah, but looks ain't ev'rythin' and money ain't ev'rythin'
But I love you just the same

Conway, why in the devil don't you go and shave and put
on a clean pair of pants?

But Loretta, look at yourself. Now I wish you'd take them curlers out of your hair
and go put on a little makeup and get out of that housecoat before supper

Ha, well let me tell you something, Conway, considerin' everything that I went
through today, I look like a movie star

Eh-he-yeah, Ruth Buzzi

Thank you

Besides that, all our kids took after your part of the family, anyway

Oh they did, huh? What about the ones that's bald?

Well, I guess you might say they take after me...


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