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Song Stories

“Helen Wheels”

Paul McCartney | 1973

A rollicking good-time hard rocker, "Helen Wheels" was not about a woman but about Paul McCartney's Land Rover, the anthemic chorus voicing the vehicle's reckless joy as "she" took to the road. The song was added to the U.S. version of Band on the Run but was issued only as a single in McCartney's native U.K. "I like that because it's a British road song and there's not many of those around," said McCartney. "It's always Route 66. But Carlisle? How many songs have got Carlisle in them?"

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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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