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Song Stories

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody”

Whitney Houston | 1987

Whitney Houston's voice made the song a smash hit, but it was "How Will I Know" songwriters Shannon Rubicam and George Merrill who crafted this tale of those seeking something special in a relationship. "Once again, inspiration was drawn from one of those dilemmas single people often experience, that twilight restlessness that washes in when you don't want to spend another evening alone and are longing for real love," Rubicam said. The songwriting team handed the demo to record label honcho Clive Davis and told him if he didn't like it, they'd record it for themselves. To Davis' credit, that didn't happen.

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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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