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Song Stories

“1901”

Phoenix | 2009

Phoenix don't shy away from their French roots on their pop song "1901," the lead single from their hit record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. "It's about Paris at a time when Paris was really modern," bassist Deck d'Arcy told Rolling Stone. Lead singer Thomas Mars affirmed his love for the City of Light during the turn of the 20th century, stating, "Paris in 1901 was better than what it is now. It's still nice, but 1901 was better. So this is the fantasy about Paris."

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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