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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

“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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