.

Song Stories

“We R Who We R”

Ke$ha | 2010

Though the first single off her second EP is a synth-fueled party starter, Ke$ha revealed that the song is a response to a slew of news-making teen suicides (like that of Tyler Clementi, a gay college freshman whose roommate humiliated him by spying on him in his dorm room with a webcam). "I was really affected by the suicides … having been subject to public hatred [myself]," the pop singer told Rolling Stone. "Things do get better and you need to celebrate who you are." She calls this track an "anthem for weirdos," giving it the chorus-cum-rallying-cry: "Tonight we're going hard/Just like the world is ours/We're tearin' it apart/You know we're superstars/We are who we are."

prev
Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com