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Song Stories

“Flagpole Sitta”

Harvey Danger | 1998

"If I died today and there was an obituary about me, it would run in the local paper and it would say that I was the author of that song," Harvey Danger frontman Sean Nelson said about the inescapable ubiquity of "Flagpole Sitta," especially in movies and TV shows. "I'm okay with it, but I definitely don't view it as an accomplishment because I view it as a strange fluke, and the fluke has nothing to do how good the song is. That song, for me, has transcended quality; it's just bizarre and perverse. What I meant when I wrote the words and melody doesn't matter at all anymore."

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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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