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Song Stories

“Out of Left Field”

Percy Sledge | 1967

After Percy Sledge helped put Muscle Shoals, Alabama, on the map with "When a Man Loves a Woman," local songwriters Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham got in on the action, writing songs for Sledge in hopes of getting them cut and released as singles. One of their tunes, "Out of Left Field," was only a mid-chart hit, but it's now considered a soul classic. "People say it's a baseball metaphor, but I think of it as a farm metaphor, like an old tractor bringin' some hay in," said Penn. "I love it 'cause it's a heck of a way to say, 'She walked in out of nowhere.'"

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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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