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Song Stories

“Goodbye Earl”

The Dixie Chicks | 1999

There are plenty of country songs that feature murder lyrics, but few are as gleeful-sounding as this one, about a wife beater who gets done in by his ex and her childhood friend. Written by Dennis Linde — who wrote Elvis Presley's last big hit, "Burnin' Love" — the song garnered crossover appeal while its Thelma & Louise lyrics generated controversy. Dixie Chick Emily Robison told Rolling Stone there were many country songs about "men shooting their girl in the head," but "when you flip it, and it's about a woman killing a man, there's all this hubub."

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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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