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Song Stories

“Bonkers”

Dizzee Rascal feat. Armand Van Helden | 2010

The British rapper's collaboration with the Boston-born electronic producer was a big hit, reaching Number One in the U.K. Van Helden saw the song's success more as a fluke than anything else, commenting, "All of my songs that have been Number One or crossed over to pop were unintentional … 'Bonkers' was a quirk." Still, the track had some famous fans, according to Dizzee Rascal, including Sir Elton John. "He came up [at the Ivor Novello Awards] and told me that he listened to 'Bonkers' every day in the shower," he said.

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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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