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Song Stories

“Hey Ya!”

Outkast | 2003

Although this Number One single was released on an double album full of funk and hip-hop, Andre 3000 told Rolling Stone its guitar chords were inspired by the Ramones, the Buzzcocks and the Smiths. A playful, funky song that gave birth to the catchphrase "Shake it like a Polaroid picture" -- much to the Polaroid Corporation's delight -- "Hey Ya!" was inspired by romance gone bad. "When you've given love to someone and then take it away, that's terrible," Andre said, accepting responsibility for his own failed relationship with Erykah Badu. "I don't want to do nobody else like that."

Find out how the duo came up with its name.
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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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