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Song Stories

“Discoverer”

R.E.M. | 2011

“It’s a moment-of-discovery song,” said Michael Stipe, “about discovering oneself and suddenly feeling this huge sense of possibility. New York can do that to you,” he said. “You come here to change the world, but you end up changing yourself.” "Discover" was the lead single and opening cut on Collapse Into Now, and at the time of release the public had no idea the band’s 15th studio album would be its swan song, though like their subsequent retirement, the band planned it to be just that. After 30 years together spent shaping alternative rock, R.E.M. mutually agreed it was time to discover itself apart after this last musical moment.

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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