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Song Stories

“I Say a Little Prayer”

Dionne Warwick | 1967

The wistful verses in which Dionne Warwick asks for a blessing for someone close to her glide into a jubilant chorus pledging eternal love on this 1967 hit. Warwick later revealed in the liner notes to The Look of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection that she "approached the song from the point of view that it was written, that we were sending a message to our kids in Vietnam." Burt Bacharach, who co-wrote "I Say a Little Prayer" with Hal David, worried, "I thought I blew it. The tempo seemed too fast."

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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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