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Song Stories

“If I Die Young”

The Band Perry | 2010

This country-pop sibling trio made its debut with an uncommonly sad single. "We wanted to write a song about making the most of whatever time you're given — whether it's two years, 20 years or 200," eldest sister and singer Kimberly Perry said. But the song is more an elegy than it is a pep talk, with lyrics that confront death to an almost uncomfortable extreme. On it, Kimberly sings of a life that never knew love, lamenting, "Who would have thought forever could be severed/By the sharp knife of a short life" and "what I never did is done."

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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