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Song Stories

“Immigrant Song”

Led Zeppelin | 1970

Beginning with the barreling declaration "We come from the land of Ice and snow, " Robert Plant and Jimmy Page wrote this song in 1970 when they were in Reykjavik at the invitation of the Icelandic government. Plant explained that a blue-collar strike threatened to cancel the gig. "So the university… prepared the concert hall …for us to play and it was most phenomenal... " Six days later, Led Zeppelin debuted the song at a festival in Bath, UK. Of the lyric, Plant said, "We went to Iceland, and it made you think of Vikings and big ships and John Bonham's stomach and, bang, there it was — 'Immigrant Song.'" A noted tidbit: "hammer of the gods" is from this lyric.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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