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Song Stories

“She Works Hard for the Money”

Donna Summer | 1983

While attending a Grammy party at the swank Chasen's restaurant in Hollywood, Summer entered the restroom, where she encountered a sleeping washroom attendant. When Summer asked why she was so tired, the woman, Onetta Johnson, told her she worked two jobs (the other as a waitress). "And my first thought was 'God, she works hard for her money, that lady," Summer said. She wrote that line down on a piece of toilet paper to remember, then got to work on the song at home 20 minutes later. The back cover of Summer's She Works Hard for the Money album features Johnson with Summer.

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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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