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Song Stories

“Gentle on My Mind”

Glen Campbell | 1967

Glen Campbell heard songwriter John Hartford's original version of "Gentle on My Mind" playing on the radio and fell in love with this song about memories of a lost love. As is often the case with songwriters, Hartford’s inspiration came from an unusual source: the film Dr. Zhivago. "I know watching the movie gave me a feeling that caused me to start writing, but as far as saying it came from that, I don't know. It just came from experience,” he said. “While I was writing it, if I had any idea that it was going to be a hit, it probably would have come out differently and it wouldn't have been a hit. The song came real fast, in about 15 minutes. It was a blaze, a blur."

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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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