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Song Stories

“California”

EMA | 2011

Erika M. Anderson's expletive-laden lament to the Golden State was based on her wanting to explore the state's dark underbelly. "The thing about California that's interesting, [is] it's always been tremendously great at marketing itself," Anderson said. "I wanted to tell the other side of the story. Because my favorite California songs are things like 'Under the Bridge,' not necessarily 'California Dreamin'.' For a while in music, it felt like there was this continuation of this California self-promotion, and I kind of wanted to be like, 'Let me tell you something else.'" In dropping the f-bomb to refer to the Golden State, she certainly did.

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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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