Song Stories

“Ambling Alp”

Yeasayer | 2009

The "Ambling Alp" was the nickname of the six-and-a-half-foot-tall Primo Carnera. Though the song is named after the Italian-born 1930s heavyweight champion, Yeasayer are actually paying tribute to boxing legend Joe Louis with this first-person psychedelic dance-rock tune. “I was always interested in writing a song that had boxing mythology in it,” Yeasayer’s Chris Keating said. “It’s pretty fascinating: There were so many amazing characters, and it was so closely entwined with 20th century history.” Yeaseyer also invokes German champ Max Schmeling and hints at the historical significance placed on the historic bouts between the Nazi-era boxer and the African-American Louis.

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Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

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