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Song Stories

“Bus Stop”

The Hollies | 1966

Using the haunting minor melody that typified Graham Gouldman's compositions, "Bus Stop" wound the Hollies' intricate vocal harmonies around a mini-vignette of a future husband and wife meeting when they share an umbrella while waiting for their ride. The opening lines that set the scene were actually suggested by Gouldman's father. "I used to stand at a bus stop every day going to work and I mentioned it to my dad," Gouldman said. "I came home one day and he'd written these lines ... He always used to help with words."

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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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