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Song Stories

“Candle in the Wind”

Elton John | 1973

Elton John and Bernie Taupin wrote the original “Candle” as a tribute to Marilyn Monroe on the classic album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Though it was a hit in the U.K., the song was not released as a single in the U.S. until its 1997 remake, when it was subtitled “Goodbye England’s Rose” in tribute to Princess Diana, another woman who had a complex public life. “[Tragedy has] happened so much in my life,” John told Rolling Stone. “With John [Lennon], with Gianni [Versace], with Princess Diana, and my friend Linda Stein. Four of my friends have been murdered.” The remake would become the biggest-selling single ever, pushing Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” down to number two.

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Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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