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Song Stories

“The Words That Maketh Murder”

PJ Harvey | 2011

PJ Harvey long intended to write an album about world affairs that you could also sing along to, which came to fruition in 2011 with Let England Shake. She made a conscious effort to avoid standard protest-song form on the album and on lead single "The Words That Maketh Murder," explaining "The words are very heavy going...the music I tried to make as uplifting and beautiful and rousing as I could...to offset this weight that was in the words," she said. The refrain "What if I take my problems to the United Nations?" pays homage to Eddie Cochran's lyrics in "Summertime Blues."

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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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