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Song Stories

“Love Child”

Diana Ross and the Supremes | 1968

One of Motown's first hits with a socially conscious theme, "Love Child," dressed in a catchy melody and carefully orchestrated arrangement, told the story of a young woman stigmatized after getting born out of wedlock. It was written over the course of a weekend by British lyricist Pam Sawyer, guitarist Deke Richards, singer R. Dean Taylor and Frank Wilson at Detroit's Pontchartrain Hotel. "Every idea was thrown out until we came up with that one," remembered Wilson. "Sometime on Saturday we came up with the idea. [Motown chief] Berry Gordy came by, loved the idea."

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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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