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Song Stories

“Hickory Wind”

The Byrds | 1968

Roger McGuinn, who added Gram Parsons to the Byrds lineup for Sweetheart of the Rodeo, considered this haunting evocation of a Southern childhood -- written by Parsons during a cross-country train trip from Florida to L.A. -- to be his best song. Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers mainstay Chris Hillman concurred: "If Gram had never written another song, 'Hickory Wind' would've put him on the map. If you know the guy's life story, however he conjured up that scenario, it's right at home. Gram was shuffled off to prep school, lots of money ... that's a lonely song. He was a lonely kid."

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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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