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Song Stories

“How Soon Is Now? ”

The Smiths | 1985

Morrissey cribbed the opening lyrics of this track from George Eliot’s novel Middlemarch, but co-composer Johnny Marr has cited a different yet equally unlikely reference point for the music: Derek and the Dominos. “I wanted an intro that was almost as potent as 'Layla,'” the guitarist said. “When [it] plays in a club or a pub, everyone knows what it is.”

Find out which legendary female singer-songwriter Morrissey criticizes in person for eating meat and smoking.
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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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