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Song Stories

“White Rabbit”

Jefferson Airplane | 1967

Grace Slick wrote “White Rabbit” both as an homage to some of her favorite childhood books that featured children’s minds being altered after ingesting certain pills or liquids, and as a way to explain the drug lifestyle that ran rampant in the Sixties. “Our parents read us stories like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz,” the Jefferson Airplane frontwoman told Rolling Stone. “They all have a place where children get drugs, and are able to fly or see an Emerald City or experience extraordinary animals or people … And our parents are suddenly saying, ‘Why are you taking drugs?’ Well, hello!”

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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