Song Stories


The Chantels | 1957

A doo-wop ballad with passionate gospel-flavored vocals by 15-year-old Arlene Smith, "Maybe" has in retrospect been regarded as one of the first hit records with trademarks of the girl-group sound. The composition was credited to songwriter, producer and singer Richard Barrett, who plays piano on the record for good measure; he also wrote and recorded the original version of "Some Other Guy," later performed by the Beatles on the BBC. Though the Chantels did not benefit from much promotion, according to Smith, "'Maybe' became popular because Dick Clark got involved, so it went national."

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“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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