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Song Stories

“Don't Mug Yourself”

The Streets | 2002

Mike Skinner came out blasting on his debut album as the Streets, spinning tales of smoking, video games, and drinking with geezers. "Don't Mug Yourself" was originally slated to be a B side until Skinner realized how poppy it was. "It's about bugging yourself with a girl," Skinner said. "Just really liking a girl and acting like a complete twat." Appropriately enough, the song was written after a night of binge drinking with his buddy Calvin. "We ended up getting really, really smashed," Skinner said. "Calvin heard the instrumental and he was like 'I want to be on this tune.'"

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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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