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Song Stories

“Heart in Your Heartbreak”

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart | 2010

"Heart in Your Heartbreak" is a pop song about getting dumped, but lead vocalist Kip Berman didn't linger on the downtrodden themes."But the song ultimately evolves in that you realize that there's no point in feeling bad about it because it wasn't that great in the first place," he said. Even though the music has a twee feel to it, Berman wanted the song to relate to teens and adults alike. "It's really important that our music doesn't exist solely on this purely sensational, 15-year-old level. Those feelings are legitimate, and I still feel the 15-year-old way, but it's also good to feel the young-adult way."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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