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Song Stories

“Blinded by the Light”

Manfred Mann's Earth Band | 1976

Although Bruce Springsteen's original never charted, Manfred Mann's cover version topped the Billboard singles chart. Mann told Rolling Stone he was a better interpreter of other people's songs than a writer of his own. "If you listen to Springsteen's 'Blinded by the Light,' I've taken out words; I haven't been very honest to the original at all." When he replaced the line "cut loose like a deuce" with "revved up like a deuce," many misheard it as "wrapped up like a douche." Years later, Springsteen joked about it on VH1 Storytellers. "I have a feeling that is why the song skyrocketed to Number One," he said.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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