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Song Stories

“Natural Mystic”

Bob Marley and the Wailers | 1977

Recorded in exile in London following Bob Marley's recovery from the attempt made on his life, "Natural Mystic" leads off his comeback album, Exodus, with a track that made lyrical reference to the catastrophic event. As for the song's melody, the band had been kicking around its strictly roots riff for quite some time, according to Wailers bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett. "That’s why it still stands up today, because it’s outstanding," he said. "Natural Mystic" not only set the tone for one of Marley's grestest works, but also its title phrase earned Marley, already called Nesta and Tuff Gong, yet another nickname.

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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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