Song Stories

“Love Is Strange”

Mickey & Sylvia | 1956

Spiraling, penetrating blues-rock riffs that inspired countless young guitarists highlighted "Love Is Strange," Mickey & Sylvia playfully dueting and teasing each other in the calypso-flavored verses. The hit was an adaptation of a song the pair heard Bo Diddley guitarist Little Joe Williams playing backstage. "They called it 'Paradise,'" emphasized Diddley in Rolling Stone. "I wrote the words, and I named it 'Love Is Strange.'" Leonard Chess of Chess Records, he added, didn't want Bo to record it, and "that's why Sylvia got the song. I let her record it, and I published it under my first wife's maiden name."

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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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