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Song Stories

“Bang the Drum All Day”

Todd Rundgren | 1982

This ode to carefree skin pounding was initially only a minor hit. But it later became a rock staple when radio stations across the country began playing its popular refrain -- "I don't want to work, I want to bang on the drum all day" -- on Friday afternoons to get listeners hyped about the weekend. "It's always good to be somewhere in the public consciousness," Rundgren said of the song's second wind. "You've done something that very few people have accomplished, which is to find a place in the culture, more or less, that transcended anything that you originally tried to accomplish."

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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