Carly Pearce debuted a new song during a recent performance at the Grand Ole Opry, sharing a tribute to Loretta Lynn titled "Dear Miss Loretta" with the audience. The song is structured as a letter to Lynn, who Pearce has never met, though they did interact on Twitter after Lynn praised Pearce for the personal track, tweeting, "This song means the world to me and you sang it on my favorite stage in the world @opry. I loved it and I love you! Maybe one of these days we can sing one together!"
"I went and made sure that it was the blue checkmark, and made sure it was actually her," Pearce told PopCulture.com of her reaction to seeing that Lynn had tweeted at her, adding that "of course" she freaked out. "I wrote that song... I was in this place where I was like, 'I don't know if people are going to really like this kind of turn truly to traditional country music for me,'" the 30-year-old explained. "So I was writing all different kinds of songs that for the first time I felt like I could creatively do whatever I wanted. And I wrote this song and knew it was cool, but didn't know if I'd ever do anything with it. And now it feels like it's such a crucial part of this time in my life. And just to have her even hear it was pretty awesome."
In "Dear Miss Loretta," Pearce compares her life to that of the country music legend, including their upbringings and romantic relationships. "Dear Miss Loretta, we both grew up too fast / And I wish you could tell me how you made it last," she sings. "I ain't a coal miners' daughter, but I've sung it all my life / I ain't been a widow, but I've been an ex-wife / And I hear your truth and I feel your pain / Now I know why you sing that way / I know why you sing that way."
"One of the lyrics in that song is, 'I'm not a coal miner's daughter, but my grandmother was,'" Pearce reflected. "My grandmother, her dad passed away in the coal mines working."
The ACM Award winner explained that she has loved Lynn since she was young but resonates with her music even more as an adult. "Loretta and I did have a lot of similarities growing up in Kentucky," she said. "And now I feel like as an adult, yes, I loved her as a kid because my grandma was like, 'If you're going to sing country music, you're going to love Loretta.' And it was like, 'Got it.' But now as an adult, I understand what she was singing about so much more. Are our stories identical? No, but we are pushing the envelope of what is, quote unquote, acceptable to sing about."