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Stand By Your Man


Written by Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill and recorded by Wynette in 1968, Stand By Your Man was a massive hit. Although she initially didn’t like it (there is a high note she found difficult), it became her signature song; she once said that she couldn’t do a show without it. The backing vocals on Tammy's version are by The Jordanaires, who made lots of records with Elvis. It was controversial as soon as it came out, but Wynette defended it against feminist critiques, arguing that it wasn't so much placing women second to men, but, rather, encouraging them to overlook their partner’s faults, because "he's just a man".

Although most versions have been by women singers, Lyle Lovett recorded it and performed it as a duet with Tammy Wynette on the Jay Leno Show in 1993.

As with our rendition, his version becomes more of a plea for forgiveness; in the interview at the end of the clip, he explains that he’s saying "I know I'm a jerk, but love me anyway". As mentioned in that interview, Hillary Clinton got into trouble for saying, in relation to some alleged infidelity of Bill's that she "wasn't some little woman 'standing by my man' like Tammy Wynette". She quickly apologised.

There have been many many other versions, including:

And, for those men not able to follow the lead of Lyle Lovett or BMC, there's a male answer song version which is predictably dreadful.

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