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Song Stories

“One of Us”

Joan Osborne | 1995

When Eric Bazilian's fiancée asked him how songs were written, the Hooters singer produced a 4-track demo of a guitar riff that had been in his head. When she asked for words, he came up with lyrics that wondered "What if God was one of us/Just a slob like one of us/Just a stranger on the bus." The next day, he took it to Joan Osborne, who adopted it for her in-progress album. "Some people are pissed off that I would sing a song that represents God as anything remotely human," she told Rolling Stone.

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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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