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Song Stories

“Youth Knows No Pain”

Lykke Li | 2011

“Like on 'Youth Knows No Pain' — we are the ones that should demonstrate, because we can take it,” Likke Li said. “We can pierce ourselves, take Ecstasy, dance all night and still go to work at our McDonald's jobs.” Despite the hedonistic sentiment in the song, the Swedish singer also admitted in hindsight her youth had repercussions. “I remember when I was 18-19 and feeling that I know it all,” Li said. “I always feel that I know it all. But that song is about realizing you don’t, and reflecting, ‘Boy, if I only knew what would follow.’”

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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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