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Song Stories

“Danny's Song”

Loggins & Messina | 1971

Kenny Loggins had set out to write about ordinary people in typical situations when he wrote this song about his brother Dan. "A lot of the lyric is taken, rephrased, from a letter he wrote me when he and [his wife,] Sheila were deciding to move to Berkeley just after their son, Colin, was born," he told Rolling Stone. "He talked about the baby, and that they were going to Berkeley with no money at all, starting fresh." The line "Even though we ain't got money/I'm so in love with you, honey," sealed its inclusion on Best Love Songs lists for years to come.

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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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