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Song Stories

“Please Don't”

David Byrne and Fatboy Slim | 2010

When David Byrne read about Imelda Marcos's fondness for disco, he immediately began conceptualizing a disco opera, which became the album Here Lies Love. In writing some of the songs about Marcos (who is the wife of Ferdinand Marcos, exiled president of the Philippines, and a politician herself) Byrne turned parts of her speeches into lyrics. "Some of Imelda's quotes say so much," he said. "They were gifts." In this song, electro-pop artist Santigold sings, "Don't let them look down on us/Like they used to do me"--a Marcos-penned line about her hardscrabble childhood and her country's place in the world.

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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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