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AWESOME ! Fascinating and Surprising Stories Behind 10 Iconic Songs

In the way that painters use images and colors to express their feelings and thoughts, so do musicians with their lyrics. Many famous songs have had such an influence through their expression that they have become iconic and unforgettable.

Each and every one of these masterpieces has a story behind its creation, and some really are quite interesting. Here’s a list of 6 intriguing stories behind some iconic songs:

1. “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley

Bob Marley Photo Credit
Bob Marley Photo Credit

The iconic reggae anthem was released in 1973 by Bob Marley and the Wailers. In the song, Bob Marley sings about his conflict with his girlfriend over birth control pills.

Bob refers to the doctor that prescribed the pills as the sheriff. The song became famous when Eric Clapton made his own version in 1974, which became a number one hit in the United States, boosting Marley’s popularity in the process. The sheriff’s name in the song is John Brown, a name later used by Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen in their own songs.

2. “Le Freak” by Chic

On New Year’s Eve 1977, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, members of Chic, were both denied entrance in the cult club Studio 54, in New York.

Being previously invited by Grace Jones who forgot to notify the club’s doormen, the famous musicians were ruthlessly forbidden to enter the club.

Chic performing at GuilFest 2012 Photo Credit
Chic performing at GuilFest 2012 Photo Credit

This event inspired them to write “Le Freak” which became an instant hit right after its release in 1978.

3. “Yesterday” by The Beatles

Released in 1965, as a part of the album Help!, Yesterday is an evergreen loved by everyone, and it was composed in a dream.

The Beatles
The Beatles

Paul McCartney dreamt the melody while sleeping in his house and ran to the piano as soon as he woke up. Playing the tune, he was afraid that he had actually plagiarized someone else’s work. A month after asking people and fellow musicians if they had heard the melody before, he got a negative answer and began to work on the lyrics together with John Lennon.

4. “Layla” by Eric Clapton

Clapton wrote “Layla” in 1970 when he was given the book “The Story of Layla and Manjun”, a tragic love story that took place in the 7th century.

Eric Clapton in Barcelona, 1974 Photo Credit
Eric Clapton in Barcelona, 1974 Photo Credit

The book was not the only inspiration Eric Clapton had however. The famous musician had an unrequited love towards Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend George Harrison. Clapton eventually confessed his feelings to Pattie and George, and they remained friends. Years later, Boyd and Harrison divorced and 5 years later, Clapton married Pattie.

5.  “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

The famous “Billie Jean” was written by Michael Jackson while he was driving along the highway and his car had caught on fire. Jackson was so focused on  ‘writing’ the lyrics, he didn’t even realize he and his car could have turned into a fire ball at any moment. Fortunately, a motorcyclist passing by saw the fire and warned him about it.

Michael Jackson Photo Credit
Michael Jackson Photo Credit

As for the song itself, Jackson said it was inspired by the groupies he and his brothers encountered during their singing careers.

There is a second story stating that the song is dedicated to a woman who claimed that Michael was the father of one of her babies. The woman sent Jackson letters and threatened him, and eventually ended up in a psychiatric hospital. “Billie Jean” was released in 1983.

6.  “White Room” by Cream

Cream were a famous British rock superband, consisting of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, and Ginger Baker. The band released one of their greatest hits, “White Room” in 1968.

Photo of Cream. From left: Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton
Photo of Cream. From left: Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton

The mysterious lyrics were written by the poet Pete Brown and people have been trying to find a hidden meaning within the song ever since its release.

Read another story from us: When the jazz diva Elis Regina died, more than 100,000 people sang her songs in the streets of São Paulo

Pete Brown himself, however, explained that it was no more than a monologue about his new flat and was amazed that the song had even become a hit.

Simon Templar

Simon Templar is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News