Song Stories

“Holy Wars...The Punishment Due”

Megadeth | 1990

Although not often considered a "prog metal band," Megadeth has penned some very complex compositions over the years - tops being "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due." And the song's lyrics were inspired by a true story - Dave Mustaine misunderstood the background of two factions feuding in Ireland over religion, and made a comment on stage that sounded like he sided with one of them. As Mustaine recalled to Guitar World, "The audience split into two halves, with the Catholics on one side and the Protestants on the other, and it gets ugly. We had to be escorted out of town in a bulletproof bus." In the song's accompanying video, all four Megadeth members perform "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" completely shirtless.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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