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Song Stories

“Icky Thump”

The White Stripes | 2007

What's an "icky thump"? was the most-asked question upon the earliest airing of the title and lead-off track of from the duo's sixth album. "It's actually 'ecky thump,'" explained Jack White to Rolling Stone, "a Northern English phrase meaning, 'What the heck?'" that he learned from his British-born then-wife, Karen Elson. As a song, it's atypical for the Stripes: Not only does it have a synthesizer, but it also has political heft, confronting America's contentious immigration policies. The Grammy-winning performance also served as a swan song: It was the last time a single by Jack and Meg White as the White Stripes topped the charts.

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Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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