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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

“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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