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Song Stories

“Climax”

Usher | 2012

Usher made this the debut single from his CD, "Looking for Myself." In spite of the attention-grabbing title, he insisted the song is more about relationships than a sexual experience. "When you're in a relationship and it's kinda reached the climax of where it could go, you gotta let it go if you're not gonna commit and that's what the song's about," he explained. "It's not about sex. It's about an out-of-control experience, when a person has reached the peak of that experience." Usher released the song on the internet on Valentine's Day.

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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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