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Investigate urban legends.

Did your mother's cousin's neighbor find a French-fried rat or a human finger in a fast-food meal? It's inspiration. There is a song called, "McRebel" by Dave and Kay Gordon somewhat loosely based on one of these urban legends. The bluegrass song, "Driving Mary Home" is a song about a guy who spends the evening with a woman he meets, ending the night by driving her home. He notices that she left her sweater behind, so turns back to deliver it. Knocking on the door, he meets her parents who explain that she died on this date a few years ago, and on the anniversary of her death she comes back, and always does the same thing meeting some guy and leaving her sweater behind. It's a classic urban legend that was also written into other songs. The Darwin Awards might be a great source of urban legends or stories that should be. Another source is Jan Harold Brunvand's books about urban legends: The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings, Encyclopedia of Urban Legends, etc. Yet another might be Snopes.com, the debunking Website.

Peter Berryman in his Whither Zither column once said, "Urban legends may be the contemporary art forms closest in spirit to the actual folk-processed songs of yore."

 
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