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Song Stories

“Born to Die”

Lana Del Rey | 2011

For "Born to Die," Lana Del Rey culled inspiration from the real-life situation of being a good girl in love with a bad boy. "We were both living life on the straight and narrow when we met," the pop chanteuse formerly known as Lizzy Grant said. "Two years into it, I didn't know it, but he was off doing other things that he got in trouble for." Her breakthrough single, "Blue Jeans," is a prequel to this song.

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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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