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Song Stories

“Moab”

Conor Oberst | 2008

Who hasn’t wanted to hit the road at one point to try and flee our problems? Conor Oberst certainly has, as he proclaims in this look at how a road trip can cure whatever ails you. This track from the Bright Eyes frontman's self-titled solo album is named after a resort town in Utah known for its breathtaking vistas. "So many people swear off their hometown and think they're never going back and they find themselves back there," he said, referring to his lyrics "That's someone going back/To a town they said they'd never/Yeah, they swore it on their lives."

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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