Hear Loretta Lynn Cover A 150-Year-Old Civil War Song ‘Take Your Guns And Go, John’

Rick Diamond/Getty Images

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This October, ATO Records will release a Civil War-inspired double album titled Divided & United. The LP will feature songs from Loretta LynnDolly PartonOld Crow Medicine Show, A.A. Bondy, Taj Mahal, T. Bone BurnettSteve Earle, and Lee Ann Womack, among others.

Rolling Stone spoke with Lynn about her recording of “Take Your Guns and Go, John,” a 150-year-old track about a soldier leaving for war.

“I had such a great time recording this song for this album,” Lynn told Rolling Stone. “I loved the song and sound of that banjo, played by Bryan Sutton, made me feel I was back on the front porch in Kentucky where I came from. Glad to be a part of this record.”

Putting her own unique spin on the track with banjo and her powerful vocals, Lynn recreates the heartbreaking tale. “Take your guns and go dear John, yes take your guns and go/For Ruth can drive the ox dear John and I can use the hoe,” she sings. Midway through, the track takes a turn for the somber as she continues, “And John if God has willed it so we never shall meet again/I’ll do the best for the children, John in sorrow, want or pain.”

Listen to “Take Your Guns and Go, John” at Rolling Stone.

- Annie Reuter, Radio.com

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