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Song Stories

“Downtown”

Petula Clark | 1965

Few celebrations of the city's allure and bright lights were as upbeat or successful as Petula Clark's "Downtown," a 1965 chart-topper that broke her in the US after years of stardom in the UK and France. Her producer Tony Hatch had written the song in hope that an American black singer or group would record it. "While I'd been in the States, I'd been greatly inspired by the atmosphere in New York and the life there," he remembered in 'This Is My Song': A Biography of Petula Clark. "I had picked up the word 'Downtown' [in the US]."

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Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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