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Song Stories

“Mr. Peterson”

Perfume Genius | 2010

Learning, the debut album by Mike Hadreas, a.k.a. Perfume Genius, was filled with personal dirges, including an eponymous song about smoking weed with a high school educator named Mr. Peterson, who later committed suicide. "It is about a teacher I had in freshman year," Hadreas said. "I hadn't thought about what went down for a while. I hadn't thought about a f---ing actual thing in a while. But I got flooded, that song came out." Despite extracting from his real-life experiences, Hadreas said, "to word-by-word take everything literally, I'd suppose would be a mistake."

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Song Stories

“Promiscuous”

Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

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