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Song Stories

“Hanky Panky”

Tommy James and the Shondells | 1964

Tommy James' first hit was raw garage rock urging his baby to do the "Hanky Panky," accentuated by wavering raunchy guitar notes at the end of the choruses. Hit songwriting team Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich wrote it in 20 minutes for a 1963 B side by their studio group the Raindrops; James first heard it via a live version by a club band in South Bend, Indiana. "I really only remembered a few lines from the song, so when we went in to record it, I had to make up the rest," he confessed.

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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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