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Song Stories

“For Free”

Meat Puppets | 1995

A scrap of backward-tape sound gives way to one of the Meat Puppets' more conventional vocal harmony-driven rockers on "For Free," which vaguely alludes to a battle for the future that's been won, though the band doesn't sound at all thrilled with the victory. The song's been interpreted as a lament for the death of Kurt Cobain, a friend of composer Curt Kirkwood. "The title says it all," Kirkwood said. "It's not really for Cobain, per se. I did it because I've known a lot of people who've killed themselves in the name of this garbage scene."

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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