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Song Stories

“Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)”

Monica | 1995

After producer Dallas Austin discovered 12-year-old Monica Arnold in 1991 (while she was singing Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All"), he got her a record deal. For this song, Monica's debut single, he enlisted a slew of writers including LL Cool J and Chuck D, and procured samples of songs by LL and Public Enemy. While this sassy tune about needing space seemed overly mature for Monica, who was 14 when it was released, she said it didn't necessarily reflect her experience. "Sometimes, when an older person writes a song for you, you can learn from the song after you've performed it, because you know what you're singing."

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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