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Song Stories

“Viva la Vida”

Coldplay | 2008

With its sweeping arrangement, "Viva la Vida" became an insta-hit, giving Coldplay their first Number One song in both the United States and United Kingdom. The Spanish title, translated as "long live life," makes reference to an artwork by Frida Kahlo. With its many historical and religious references, it alludes to themes of pain, strength and anti-authoritarianism. At the time, Chris Martin felt it was a make-or-break endeavor for the band. “This could be our last shot at the big time," the singer admitted. "It's something in my head, as in artistic relevance."

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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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