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Song Stories

“Nowhere to Run”

Martha and the Vandellas | 1965

Martha Reeves was a secretary for Motown A&R guy Mickey Stevenson who stepped in when Mary Wells didn’t show for a session. Fast forward a few years and several upbeat Motown classics, and “Nowhere to Run” is another Top 10 hit for the office worker turned soul diva. Although the song is about a bad love affair, its musical inspiration came from the mean streets of Detroit. According to song co-composer Lamont Dozier, "I was sitting at the piano one day playing this groove, and it came out sounding kind of military because I was looking out my window and there were tanks coming down the street.”

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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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