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Song Stories

“Alabama High-Test”

Old Crow Medicine Show | 2008

Old Crow Medicine Show sing and play their old-timey string instruments like they're from the Depression era, but their lyrics often suggest otherwise. Case in point: In 'Alabama High-Test,' the Nashville six-piece hoots about a drug dealer caught in pursuit while under the influence of 'Bama bud. "When you stop at a truck stop in Bowling Green at 4 a.m.," fiddle player Ketch Secor said, "you’re going to meet half the people on this record standing in line in front of you. If you don’t see them, you’ve got your eyes shut."

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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