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Song Stories

“We've Only Just Begun”

The Carpenters | 1970

This song, beautifuly sung by Karen Carpenter, was never intended to be a song at all. Written by veteran songwriters Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, it began as a TV jingle for a California bank, which caught Richard Carpenter’s ear. “I assumed that it would never, ever get cut again,” Williams told Rolling Stone. But when Carpenter asked if there was a full song attached to the jingle, Williams said yes, then rushed to actually finish the tune, which became one of the Carpenters' most enduring hits.

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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