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Song Stories

“The Death of You and Me”

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds | 2011

Noel Gallagher made his solo debut with this song about breaking free and escaping from all that will try and destroy you--seemingly a reaction to his break from Oasis and his chaotic relationship with his fromer band mate and brother, Liam. But Galagher denies an explicit connection between the song and his personal life, saying the tune is "A romantic song about...people escaping the surroundings they're in...and having a jolly good time and living happily ever after."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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