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Song Stories

“Hold On ”

KT Tunstall | 2007

KT Tunstall advises, "Hold on to what you been given lately" on a song she described as "a kind of beats-led, blues influence." "Hold On" and the other tracks on her album Drastic Fantastic caused the Scottish singer-songwriter to question "the treacherous path to paradise." "How much will you risk to find your nirvana and how deep will you dig because the deeper you dig, the darker it gets, and the scarier it is, the more you can fit in the hole," Tunstall said. "It's just that sort of bravery of what you'll do to get what you want."

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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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