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Song Stories

“Down Under”

Men at Work | 1982

Singer Colin Hay has said this song — which has become an unofficial anthem for Australia — was a celebration of the land down under even as it was being over-developed by greedy people. Featuring Aussie slang words like "fried-out kombi," "head full of zombie" and "chunder," the song prompted a lawsuit when a publishing company said the famous flute riff plagiarized a copyrighted campfire song, "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree." Flautist Greg Ham — who took to drugs and alcohol after the decision — died two years later at 58. "I think it had a big impact on him," Hay said.

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Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

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