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Song Stories

“Just Like Heaven”

The Cure | 1987

Although the track was the Cure’s 11th Top 40 hit in their native United Kingdom, it was the alt-rock band’s first in the United States, reaching just Number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The whimsical lyrics and lilting melody were inspired by a seaside trip singer Robert Smith took with his then-future wife, recollecting a dreamy romantic rendezvous. Smith once admitted to Rolling Stone that “when I find someone I like, I try to hold on to them” — a truism underscored by the fact he’s been with the sweetheart he’s singing about since he was 15.

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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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