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Song Stories

“L.E.S. Artistes”

Santigold | 2008

Santi White, a.k.a. Santigold, went from writing songs for others to doing her own thing, but in order to pursue her career, she had to relocate from Philadelphia to Manhattan’s trendy Lower East Side. “The song is about me moving back to New York, feeling really vulnerable, wanting to be an artist soaking up all stimulation creatively but at the same time staying introverted and in my own mind,” White said. “At the same time, it’s about being accosted by the New York scene and the scenesters and hipsters, who are really not artists and are just pretending to be.”

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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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