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Song Stories

“Coffee Spoon”

Cold War Kids | 2010

Cold War Kids lead singer Nathan Willett wrote this song about making the transition from austerity to having more of an appreciation for the finer things in life. "'Coffee Spoon' is kind of about how in relationships and internally there is something really great about being frugal but it is also easy to be chintzy," Willett said. "To give little and need little. I think the idea of being ascetic was always appealing to me, but then I had to learn how to shed some of that stuff … to 'spend.' So a coffee spoon in a china room was a metaphor for learning to value precious things."

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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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