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Song Stories

“History Lesson — Part II”

The Minutemen | 1984

The Minutemen were a tightly knit trio, but the relationship between guitarist D. Boon and bassist Mike Watt goes back to their childhood growing up in the blue-collar California town of San Pedro. This nostalgic song's narrative (sung by Boon but written by Watt) details the duo's friendship and coming of age as music lovers and musicians. "I wrote that song to humanize us," Watt later recalled. "People thought we were spacemen, but we were just Pedro corndogs – our band could be your life! You could be us, this could be you."

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Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

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