Fortune brings together the letter L, the Birthday Book theme and a love of country music to celebrate the birthday of bona fide Nashville legend, Loretta Lynn.

Mrs Lynn is still active musically, recording albums and touring at an age where many people are settling down for extended naps and very milky tea. She has been recognised throughout her career for challenging preconceptions and established norms in (country) music, and taking little nonsense.

Here’s a couple of versions of her uncompromising ‘don’t mess with my man, sister’ anthem, ‘Fist City’. I love the lyrics and attitude here. It’s pure aggro, the sort of thing one hears every Friday in certain pubs in certain towns. Posted on someone’s Facebook wall now, perhaps. Anyway, one version from 1968:

The after-song comments are just priceless: “The way you hit that last note sounds like you were singing at somebody…” “You dag-gone right!”

And this one from 2015, showing a steely core undiminished.

To be honest, from the way LL is looking at them, the band here seems bound for Fist City as well.

A very happy birthday to you, Loretta Lynn.

Today’s, you might be pleased to learn,
the day we’d say ‘Happy Returns!’
and ‘All the best!’ ‘Here’s to you!’ ‘Cheers!’
to mark the passing of the years
gone by since DR SEUSS was born.

So hoot your hooters! Honk your horn!
Shake a leg! Go bake a cake!
Grab a glass and aim to take
a break from adult cares and woes!
Short sheets? Why not get out your toes
and bathe them all in sarsaparilla,
sauerkraut, essence of vanilla,
or mineral water would be fine
or buckets of cheap Rhenish wine,
whichever the most seemly seems!
(Though never dunk toes in your dreams.)
The most important thing’s to know
exactly when you’d best let go,
remind yourself to think young thoughts,
’cause life is great but life is short…

So tell the Once-ler, Lola Lopp,
the Redd-Zoffs, and the Hopping Yop,
call up dear Mrs McCave
and her 23 sons called Dave,
hail the Whos and Horton, strain
to shout the Sneetches (Starred and Plain),
creatures simple, slightly dreary,
confused, complex, wakeful, bleary,
coloured green like eggs, red or blue,
or spooky like Foo-Foo the Snoo…



So tell the beasts in big balloons
to grab their party hats, and soon,
to celebrate in splenderiffic,
most delicious – calorific! –
ostentatious style outstanding,
fitted to a man commanding
love and joy for his crazy words
and images (mostly absurd),
    …so let’s cut loose…
…and give three cheers for DR SEUSS!

Celebrating my birthday today. Entertainments include some delicious chocolate cake:


… (chocolate & almond, no flour, extra delicious), cava (Freixenet Excelencia)…


…and super smooth soundtrack for the evening comes from one of my presents, a vinyl bargain:


‘Dim the light’ by Winston Reedy.


“There is a place for us beyond the border line.”