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Song Stories

“Running on Empty”

Jackson Browne | 1977

Sometimes the best lyrical metaphors arise from literal events, such as in the case of this title track to Jackson Browne’s breakout album. The singer-songwriter was inspired by the reading on his car's fuel gauge while motoring to the studio each day to make his previous album, The Pretender. “I was always driving around with no gas in the car,” he said. “I just never bothered to fill up the tank because – how far was it anyway? Just a few blocks.”

Find out about flying panties inspired a young Jackson Browne to become a musician.
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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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