The Meanings and Stories Behind 50 Pop Songs
From rock and pop to country and rap, we dive into the meanings and backstories of song lyrics spanning the 1940s to the present.
Ever wondered what Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” is really about? Or who is the real-life “Becky with the good hair”?
The answers, my friend, will make you hear these tunes with new ears.
Artist: Don McLean
Key Lyric: “Something touched me deep inside, the day the music died.”
Once asked what the song means, McLean famously joked “It means I don’t ever have to work again if I don’t want to.”
The iconic tune laments and reflects on ‘The Day The Music Died’ in 1959 when rockers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and JP “Big Bopper” Richardson tragically perished in a plane crash on a snowy Iowa night.
The 2015 auction of McLean’s original handwritten lyrics and notes confirmed the theory that cryptic references to “the king” and “the jester” were nods to Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. The penultimate verses refer to the murder of Meredith Hunter at the infamous 1969 Altamont Free Concert during the Rolling Stones’ set, hence lyrics about “Jack Flash” and “a generation lost in space.”
Artist: The Kingsmen
Key Lyric: “Louie Louie, oh no, me gotta go”
Every band from the Beach Boys to Black Flag has covered this 1957 classic by doo-wop artist Richard Berry. But it’s the 1963 hit version recorded by the Kingsmen that lives in rock ‘n’ roll infamy. The lyrics tell of a Jamaican sailor returning to see his lover, but the rough vocal renders most of the words incomprehensible.
Prompted by complaints from bewildered, square parents who suspected the lyrics might be sexually deviant, the FBI launched a two-year investigation into whether the song was obscene.
They came up empty-handed, and even managed to miss the sole vulgarity: The Kingsmen’s drummer dropping one of his sticks and yelling the F-word around the song’s 54-second mark.
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond”
Artist: Pink Floyd
Key Lyric: “Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky”
Band bassist and chief lyricist Roger Waters wrote this epic track as a tribute to former Pink Floyd member Syd Barret. Though once the group’s creative force, Barret’s erratic behavior and mental meltdown, triggered by massive LSD use, led to his dismissal in 1968.
In a freaky coincidence during the song’s recording session, Barret himself wandered into the studio, unannounced. He was bald, overweight and a gone-mad shadow of his former self.
Waters failed to recognize his one-time bandmate (not to mention the subject of the song) was standing in the room beside him.
“How Do You Sleep?”
Artist: John Lennon
Key Lyric: “The only thing you done was Yesterday”
Following the 1970 breakup of the Beatles, things got ugly between Lennon and McCartney—in a lawsuit as well as in solo-song lyrics disparaging each other. John was incensed by Macca’s 1971 tune “Too Many People,” which he felt attacked him and wife Yoko Ono with lyrics like “You took your lucky break and broke it in two.”
Lennon punched back even harder with this screed asking how his former bandmate manages to sleep at night.
And lays down perhaps the song’s most vicious dig with the line “Those freaks was right when they said you was dead”—a reference to the infamous “Paul is Dead” fan-conspiracy theory.
“Born in the U.S.A.”
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Key Lyric: “You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much”
Listen only to the rousing refrain, and it’s easy to see why this song is so often misunderstood.
Closer lyrical inspection reveals that contrary to a jingoistic, flag-waving tune, The Boss tells a bitterly ironic tale of a Vietnam War veteran returning home to desperate circumstances with “nowhere to run” and “nowhere to go.”
“Rockin’ in the Free World”
Artist: Neil Young
Key Lyric: “There’s colors on the street—red, white and blue”
Like Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” here’s another rock anthem sometimes misinterpreted as mindless fist-pumping patriotism.
Rather, it’s largely a harsh critique of the U.S.A.’s foreign entanglements, homeless crisis and particularly the George H.W. Bush administration (1989-‘93), epitomized by the line “We got a thousand points of light, for the homeless man.”
Artist: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Key Lyric: “This summer I hear the drumming, four dead in Ohio”
The May 15, 1970 issue of Life Magazine featured a heartbreaking cover photo of Kent State University students leaning over the body of a classmate who’d just been shot by National Guardsmen during a Vietnam War protest.
When the magazine landed on Neil Young’s coffee table, a nerve was lit and within a few hours, he’d written one of rock’s most raw and enduring protest songs—a haunting recount of the four college students killed in the Kent State Massacre.
“You’re So Vain”
Artist: Carly Simon
Key Lyric: “I’ll bet you think this song is about you”
Simon says the self-absorbed subject of her soft-rock classic is three different real-life men.
In 2015, she confirmed the long-guessed theory the lyrics are about actor Warren Beatty, but only the second verse.
Simon has dropped hints about the other two primadonnas, with many believing one is her former lover, guitarist Dan Armstrong.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Key Lyric: “You and me we made a pretty pair”
Mick Jagger wrote this raunchy rocker soon after his affair with Carly Simon, who many believed wrote her hit “You’re So Vain” (see previous entry) about the Stones’ frontman.
Simon has denied it. And Jagger has never elaborated on the identity of this song’s “Starf*cker.”
Fans guess it’s either Simon or Jagger’s ex-girlfriend (and infamous Stones’ groupie) Marianne Faithful.
“Money for Nothing”
Artist: Dire Straits
Key Lyric: “That ain’t workin’, that’s the way you do it”
Lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Mark Knopfler was shopping in a New York appliance store when he stopped to stare at a wall of display TVs all tuned to MTV.
Standing next to him, an employee began commenting on the music videos, griping that while he had to “move these refrigerators” and “install microwave ovens,” rock stars on MTV were making bank for doing nothing, and scoring “chicks for free.”
Knopfler got the idea to write a first-person song told from the worker’s POV, and jotted down the lyrics on the spot.
“Smoke on the Water”
Artist: Deep Purple
Key Lyric: “We all came out to Montreaux”
Every headbanger worth their Marlboro-stink denim jacket knows the song’s immortal, crunching guitar riff and chorus, but what about the rest of the lyrics? They tell the true story of English rockers Deep Purple traveling to Montreaux, Switzerland to record an album at the Montreaux Casino, set on the shore of Lake Geneva.
On the eve of the recording sessions, Frank Zappa was playing a concert in the casino theater when an audience member (“Some stupid with a flare gun”) fired a flare into the ceiling, which “Burned the place to the ground” and sent massive plumes of smoke across the lake (“Smoke on the water, fire in the sky”).
“No Woman, No Cry”
Artist: Bob Marley and the Wailers
Key Lyric: “Everything’s gonna be all right”
Seems like a no-brainer, but who hasn’t had a stoner pal mistakenly think “No woman, no cry” meant if you lacked a female love in your life, you shouldn’t cry?
The sung lyric is “No woman, nuh cry,” which in Jamaican patois means Marley is comforting his weeping lady friend, as in “No woman, don’t cry.”
“Candle in the Wind”
Artist: Elton John
Key Lyric: “Goodbye Norma Jean”
The lyrics are famously about Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean) and the perils of fame.
But songwriter Bernie Taupin has said the specific phrase “candle in the wind” was one he’d first heard used by record producer Clive Davis to describe the turbulent life of Janis Joplin.
In 1997, Taupin and Elton John rewrote and re-recorded the song in a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales known as “Goodbye England’s Rose.”
“In the Air Tonight”
Artist: Phil Collins
Key Lyric: “Well if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand”
Though not quite as legendary as the explosive drum solo, the song’s meaning is the subject of a widespread urban myth.
The story goes that Collins was on a boat with his friend, who fell overboard. Collins couldn’t swim, so he called out to a man standing on a nearby dock to save his drowning friend. The man refused and Phil’s buddy died. Some versions of the story go so far as to claim Collins invited the man to sit in the front row at one of his concerts, shone a spotlight on him, and called him out as a murderer.
Asked about this fantastic tale on The Tonight Show in 2017, Collins laughed and said “Unfortunately, none of it’s true.” The haunting lyrics were simply his expression of anger while going through a painful divorce.
Artist: The Beatles
Key Lyric: “When I get to the bottom, I go back to the top of the slide”
In America, the term “helter-skelter” is infamously associated with the 1969 Tate-LaBianca Murders committed by the Charles Manson “Family.” A psychopathic Manson interpreted the Paul McCartney-penned song as the prophecy of an impending, apocalyptic racial war, from which he and his cult would emerge the victors.
In reality, McCartney wrote the lyrics about an English fairgrounds amusement ride called a “helter skelter” – a slide spiraling around the outside of a circular tower.
In interviews, Macca has said the song also contains a bit of “rise and fall of the Roman Empire” metaphor. But is it a call to butcher innocents? Um, no.
“The Battle of Evermore”
Artist: Led Zeppelin
Key Lyric: “The Ringwraiths ride in black”
An old-school “The Lord of the Rings” nerd, Zeppelin lyricist Robert Plant’s love of author J.R.R. Tolkien’s work inspired tunes like “Ramble On” and “Stairway to Heaven.”
But perhaps the song most purely derived from Tolkien’s LOTR is the ethereal “The Battle of Evermore,” which name-checks the Nazgûl (a.k.a. Ringwraiths) and essentially retells the tale of the book’s “Battle of the Pelennor Fields.”
“Not Ready to Make Nice”
Artist: Dixie Chicks
Key Lyric: “I’m still mad as hell”
The Chicks (the band dropped “Dixie” in light of the 2020 BLM movement) wrote this defiant number in the aftermath of lead singer Natalie Maines’ controversial on-stage criticism of President George W. Bush and the 2003 Iraq invasion.
The group’s music had been banned by many country music radio stations, yet Maines and company were making no apologies.
“Under the Bridge”
Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Key Lyric: “I don’t ever wanna feel like I did that day”
Songs about drug abuse are rock ‘n’ roll cliché, but the lonely first-person junkie story behind this Peppers’ ballad was lost on some listeners because it doesn’t specifically mention heroin.
Lead singer/songwriter Anthony Kiedis has said “The bridge downtown” is a spot underneath a freeway bridge in Los Angeles where he went to shoot-up drugs with members of the Mexican Mafia—the lowest point in his life.
Artist: Jefferson Airplane
Key Lyric: “Feed your head”
In 2019, boomers were bummed to hear this psychedelic ‘60s’ anthem had been sold out to a TV commercial for Celebrity Cruises. Most people under age 40 (give or take) simply wondered what this weird song was about.
Well, listen up, kiddos. Back in the 1967 ‘Summer of Love’ days, some freewheelin’ young folks enjoyed taking a groovy hallucinogenic drug named LSD, which made them feel as if they were experiencing the surreal Lewis Carroll classic “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” first-hand.
In the song lyrics, the rabbit, Red Queen, White Knight, Dormouse and hookah-smoking caterpillar are characters from the book.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Key Lyric: “He coulda been champion of the world”
In 1967, middleweight boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was sentenced to life in prison for a triple murder he swore he didn’t commit. Dylan believed Carter’s defense and joined a crusade to get the fighter retried and released from jail.
Dylan’s musical contribution to the cause was this story song, which lays out the events and judicial “pig-circus” aftermath of the killings supposedly carried out by Carter on a “hot New Jersey night” in the summer of ‘66.
After myriad legal wrangling and nearly 20 years in prison, in 1985 an innocent Carter finally walked free. The 1999 movie about the case, starring Denzel Washington as Carter, plays “Hurricane” over the end credits.
Key Lyric: “He better call Becky with the good hair”
Everyone knows this Queen Bey tune lays waste to that lowdown, cheatin’ dog Jay-Z.
But who exactly is “Becky with the good hair”? Suspected real-life subjects include singer Rita Ora and fashion designer Rachel Roy.
But according to primary songwriter Diana Gordon, there is no real Becky. In other words, Becky can be whoever you want her to be.
“A Boy Named Sue”
Artist: Johnny Cash
Key Lyric: “Life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue”
Cash’s number-one country hit was penned by poet Shel Silverstein.
He was inspired to write the song by his close friend and fellow humorist Jean Shepherd, who, like Sue in the song, had a feminine-sounding name and was taunted as a boy.
Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Key Lyric: “It’s only me who wants to wrap around your dreams”
The surprise 2020 resurgence of this Mac classic was spurred by a viral Tik Tok video made by Nathan Apodaca.
For those newly discovering the group and the song, it was written by singer Stevie Nicks about her bitter romantic breakup with bandmate Lindsey Buckingham.
Speaking of the recording sessions, Buckingham told Blender magazine it was difficult “keeping our personal feelings in one corner of the room while trying to be professional in the other.” No doubt.
Artist: Taylor Swift
Key Lyric: “If you live like that, you live with ghosts”
While Tay Tay has never named the real-life target of the stinging lyrics, past comments and hints strongly suggest the track is about Swift’s infamous feud with fellow pop diva Katy Perry.
“Free Man in Paris”
Artist: Joni Mitchell
Key Lyric: “I felt unfettered and alive”
Though he’s never mentioned by name, record executive/agent David Geffen is the “free man” in this track from Mitchell’s genius “Court and Spark” album.
The two were close friends and vacationed together in Paris, where she saw Geffen reveling in a respite from the pressures of the music biz.
Artist: Michael Jackson
Key Lyric: “But the kid is not my son”
In Jackson’s 1988 autobiography “Moonwalk,” he wrote, “There never was a real Billie Jean.” Rather, the song’s title character was a composite of the female groupies who “plagued” his brothers when they were all members of the Jackson 5.
However, according to Jackson biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, the ultimate inspiration came from a series of disturbing letters the King of Pop received in 1981 from a female stalker who claimed he’d fathered one of her children.
“Diamonds & Rust”
Artist: Joan Baez
Key Lyric: “You burst on the scene, already a legend”
Bob Dylan has been referenced in songs by artists ranging from The Who to John Lennon.
Here’s a tune that’s entirely about Dylan yet doesn’t name-check him at all. Baez wrote it in the mid-1970s about her romantic relationship with Dylan that ended roughly a decade earlier.
Artist: Neil Diamond
Key Lyric: “Good times never seemed so good”
No, the 8th-inning crowd sing-along staple at Boston’s Fenway Park has nothing to do with baseball. For decades, the story was that Diamond had written the song about a young Caroline Kennedy (daughter of John F. Kennedy), whose photo he’d seen on a magazine cover.
Diamond even serenaded Kennedy with the tune at her 50th birthday party in 2007.
However, in a 2014 appearance on the “Today” show, Diamond clarified. The song is actually about his then-wife Marsha. But he couldn’t get anything to rhyme with Marsha and needed a three-syllable name. Diamond saw the magazine cover and decided to use the name Caroline instead.
Key Lyric: “We crave a different kind of buzz”
Here’s a diamond note for you ‘inside baseball’ fans. The title hook of Lorde’s inescapable hit about the celeb high life—written when she was just 15 years old—was inspired by Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett. Wait, what?!
Leafing through an old National Geographic magazine, Lorde was taken by a 1970s’ photo of Brett signing autographs in his Kansas City Royals uniform. Lorde told an interviewer, “It’s just that word (Royals). It’s really cool.”
“I Will Always Love You”
Artist: Dolly Parton
Key Lyric: “If I should stay, I would only be in your way”
Most assume Parton’s number-one hit (also covered by Whitney Houston to smash success) is a romantic breakup song.
It’s a professional farewell to her mentor Porter Wagoner, who gave Dolly her big break on his popular TV variety show.
“The Frim-Fram Sauce”
Artist: The King Cole Trio
Key Lyric: “I’m never satisfied”
Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and, most recently, Diana Krall, have recorded swingin’ versions of this jazz standard by songwriting duo Redd Evans and Joe Ricardel.
The restaurant-menu lyrics make sense (French-fried potatoes, red-ripe tomatoes, etc.) until the chorus’ “frim-fram sauce with the ussin-fay with shafafa on the side.” Pure nonsense. Or so you thought.
A New York Times article about the song’s innuendo explains that “frim fram” is derived from a centuries-old slang term for deceit. “Ussin-fay” is pig Latin for “fussin’”—old-timey slang for playfulness, friskiness. And “shafafa” is, well, anybody’s guess. Krall suggests “It’s all about sex.” Naturally. How else to explain the line “I’m gonna feed myself right tonight”?
“Sweet Home Alabama”
Artist: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Key Lyric: “I hope Neil Young will remember, a Southern man don’t need him around anyhow”
The band’s ode to the “Southland” famously jabs Neil Young with lines like “I heard ol’ Neil put her down.”
The verse is a counterpunch to Young’s early-1970s’ tunes “Southern Man” and “Alabama,” which paint damning portraits of slavery in the Old South.
“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”
Artist: The Band
Key Lyric: “And the bells were ringing”
The American South also plays a starring role in this Band classic, which revisits the Civil War. Some hear it as an elegy for the fall of the Confederacy.
Songwriter Robbie Robertson has said it’s a first-person story told from a character’s point of view, not his own.
In 2020, Slate magazine did a deep dive into the song’s meaning that’s well worth reading.
“Isn’t She Lovely”
Artist: Stevie Wonder
Key Lyric: “Life is Aisha”
Wonder’s lyrics celebrate the arrival of his then-newborn daughter, Aisha Morris.
Though the crying baby heard at the beginning of the song is not Aisha, the sound effects laid over the harmonica outro are an actual recording of Wonder giving his young daughter a bath.
“Murder Was the Case”
Artist: Snoop Dogg
Key Lyric: “I’m on my way to Chino, rollin’ on the grey goose”
This cut from Snoop’s debut album, “Doggystyle,” is mostly fiction. But it was inspired by a true-life first-degree murder charge that had been leveled at the rapper.
In 1994, soon after performing the song at the MTV Video Music Awards, Snoop turned himself in to authorities. He ultimately beat the case with the aid of famed O.J. Simpson-defense attorney Johnnie Cochran.
“Nights in White Satin”
Artist: The Moody Blues
Key Lyric: “’Cause I love you”
The song’s theme of unrequited love is easy enough to decipher. But where did the “white satin” metaphor come from?
Moodies’ lead singer/songwriter Justin Hayward says he was inspired by a set of satin bedsheets an old girlfriend had given him as a gift.
Artist: Elvis Presley
Key Lyric: “It’s down at the end of Lonely Street”
According to the song’s co-writer Tommy Durden, the lyrics to The King’s first million-selling record were inspired by a newspaper article he’d read in The Miami Herald.
An unidentified man had jumped to his death from a hotel window and left behind a suicide note that simply read “I walk a lonely street.”
“Rock the Casbah”
Artist: The Clash
Key Lyric: “The Sharif don’t like it”
Songwriter Joe Strummer’s fable tells of an Arab king who bans his country from listening to Western rock music, and goes as far as calling up his jet fighters to drop bombs on those who defy him.
Strummer drew partial inspiration from the real-life 1979 Iranian Revolution.
“Hit ‘Em Up”
Key Lyric: “Grab ya’ Glocks when you see Tupac”
The 1990s’ violent East Coast-West Coast hip hop feud fueled a number of legendary diss tracks, and this Pac diatribe is arguably the most ruthless.
Pac had survived a 1994 shooting he was convinced rival rapper Notorious B.I.G. had a hand in. The lyrics target “Biggie” as well as Sean “Puffy” Combs with vicious takedowns and threats.
Within a year of the single’s release, both Tupac Shakur and “Biggie” (Christopher Wallace) would be killed in drive-by shootings.
“Oye Como Va”
Artists: Tito Puente; Santana
Years: 1962 (Puente); 1971 (Santana)
Key Lyric: “Oye com ova, mi ritmo”
Don’t speak Spanish? The Tito Puente-penned songs only lyric “Oye come va, mi ritmo. Bueno pa’ gozar, mulata” loosely translates to “Listen how it goes, my rhythm. It’s good for having fun, babe.”
Native Spanish speakers will have slightly different translations, but those are the basics.
“Sunday Bloody Sunday”
Key Lyric: “I can’t believe the news today”
Written by Bono and the Edge, this anthemic, politically-charged track expresses their outrage over 1972’s “Bloody Sunday” massacre in Derry, Northern Island, where British soldiers opened fire on an unarmed crowd of protestors, killing fourteen.
“Every Breath You Take”
Artist: The Police
Key Lyric: “I’ll be watching you”
While the band’s biggest single sounds like a romantic love song, it’s anything but. Sting wrote this tune about obsessive jealousy after separating from his ex-wife and has called the lyrics “sinister.”
How widely is the song misinterpreted? In a 1980s’ radio interview, Sting said, “One couple told me ‘Oh we love that song; it was the main song played at our wedding!’ I thought, ‘Well, good luck.’”
Key Lyric: “Darkness imprisoning me”
Metallica thrashed into the MTV mainstream with this nightmarish tale of a World War I soldier who steps on a landmine and wakes up to find he’s lost his arms, legs, sight, hearing and speech—left only with the torture of being trapped in his own mind.
The lyrics are largely based on Dalton Trumbo’s 1939 anti-war novel “Johnny Got His Gun,” and subsequent 1971 movie of the same name.
Artist: Ariana Grande
Key Lyric: “You say it taste like candy”
It doesn’t take Carl Gauss to add up the numbers in the song’s title.
Another amazing number? This work of (ahem) genius is credited to no less than nine songwriters.
“Total Eclipse of the Heart”
Artist: Bonnie Tyler
Key Lyric: “Forever’s gonna start tonight”
Tyler’s power ballad (and hilariously bizarre music video) is about…wait for it…vampires! Well, sort of.
Composer/lyricist Jim Steinman had been hired to be Tyler’s producer and write a love song for her next album. He’d been working on a tune titled “Vampires in Love” for a musical version of “Nosferatu.”
After Steinman tweaked the lyrics a bit, Tyler recorded it and scored a mega-hit that sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. Three cheers for repurposing!
“Five to One”
Artist: The Doors
Key Lyric: “Gonna win, yeah, we’re taking over. Come on!”
There are two prevailing fan theories on the meaning of Jim Morrison’s phrase “five to one.” Some think the numbers represent the Vietnam War ratio of Viet Cong fighters (five) to U.S. soldiers (one).
While others believe the more likely sentiment that it’s a reference to the perceived late-1960s’ ratio of counterculture youth to older, straight conservatives (“they got the guns, but we got the numbers”).
Doors’ drummer John Densmore once asked Morrison what “five to one” meant. The Lizard King reportedly replied, “That’s for me to know, and you to find out.” Gee thanks, Jim.
“She Caught the Katy”
Artist: Taj Mahal
Key Lyric: “The train pulled out, I swung on behind”
Mahal’s signature tune is best known to movie fans for the cover version by the Blues Brothers (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) played over the opening credits of the 1980 comedy “The Blues Brothers.”
“The Katy” in the lyrics is the now-defunct Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad line, which ran from 1870 to 1988. The Kansas-Texas segment gave the train its “KT” (or “Katy”) nickname.
“Puff, the Magic Dragon”
Artist: Peter, Paul and Mary
Key Lyric: “A dragon lives forever but not so little boys”
This song is about drugs, right? Sure, if you believe “puff” means puffing marijuana, and the “land of Honahlee” is code for hashish.
But the official backstory is Peter Yarrow based the song on a 1959 poem by his friend Leonard Lipton, who’d been inspired by the 1936 Ogden Nash poem “The Tale of Custard the Dragon.”
Yarrow says his tale of a boy and his imaginary pet dragon should be taken literally and is only about the “loss of innocence in children.”
“She Said She Said”
Artist: The Beatles
Key Lyric: “I know what it’s like to be dead”
Here’s a song that is about drugs. The Fab Four, on a break from their 1965 U.S. tour, rented a house in Beverly Hills and threw a party where the LSD flowed freely.
Among the guests, actor Peter Fonda turned out to be a major acid-trip annoyance. Fonda had once survived a near-fatal gunshot wound, and wandered around the party, creepily whispering to everyone “I know what it’s like to be dead, man.”
The band threw him out, but the incident stuck with John Lennon. Writing the lyrics, he changed Fonda’s “he” to a “she” and a psychedelic rock classic was born.
“Johnny B. Goode”
Artist: Chuck Berry
Key Lyric: “Maybe someday your name will be in lights”
Who’s the real-life Johnny B. Goode that “could play a guitar just like a-ringing a bell”?
Who else but Chuck Berry himself? Perhaps the most earth-shattering rock ‘n’ roll record of all time is partly autobiographical.
Need lyrical proof? Berry was born in St. Louis at the address 2520 Goode Avenue. Go Johnny go, go!