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Song Stories

“Cold World”

GZA | 1995

From the Liquid Swords album, GZA's "Cold World" gives a poetic look into the gritty streets of the Brooklyn neighnorhoods of Brownsville and Red Hook. "A lot of dudes write these street tales and they're so gory, 'cause they think gory is visual," GZA said. "I wanted to write something and take it to a level where nobody's done it." Like many Wu classics from that era, the song was created in RZA's basement back on Staten Island. "I remember being there, and some of the beats were running for like two days nonstop. 'Cold World' was one of them."

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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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