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Song Stories

“Goodbye Earl”

The Dixie Chicks | 1999

There are plenty of country songs that feature murder lyrics, but few are as gleeful-sounding as this one, about a wife beater who gets done in by his ex and her childhood friend. Written by Dennis Linde — who wrote Elvis Presley's last big hit, "Burnin' Love" — the song garnered crossover appeal while its Thelma & Louise lyrics generated controversy. Dixie Chick Emily Robison told Rolling Stone there were many country songs about "men shooting their girl in the head," but "when you flip it, and it's about a woman killing a man, there's all this hubub."

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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