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Song Stories

“Lights”

Interpol | 2010

Interpol lead singer and songwriter Paul Banks doesn’t know where the idea for this nebulous and slow-building "Lights" came from. “It just came out,” Banks said. “There’s many times I’m trying to get better at doing this but really unconscious composition, like your subconscious. You can get away with that kind of thing when you’re doing music — you can’t get away with that in other medium. Where there’s melody involved, ideas could just come and you can do them because you know in that moment that it’s the right thing. So, that was one of those.”

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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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