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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

“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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