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Song Stories

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun”

Cyndi Lauper | 1983

Although Cyndi Lauper's debut single would eventually become a female anthem of the Eighties, she told Rolling Stone she had to alter the lyrics from Robert Hazard's 1979 original, which was sung from a man's perspective. "It was originally about how fortunate he was 'cause he was a guy around these girls that wanted to have 'fun' -- with him -- down there, which we do not speak lest we go blind," she said. The "Girls" video told of her repressed childhood and featured a colorful cast of characters, including pro wrestling manager Lou Albano as her father alongside her real mother.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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