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Song Stories

“The Humpty Dance”

Digital Underground | 1990

The fictional Edward Ellington Humphries III — a.k.a., "Humpty Hump" — made his first appearance on the group's video for "Doowutchyalike." "While we were shopping for props ... we came across this box of bargain-bin noses," rapper Shock-G said. When he tried on a pair of Groucho glasses with a big brown nose, he was so amused, he decided to wear them in the video. In this whimsical counter to the grittiness of gangsta rap, Humpty reappears, noting that his odd looks don't inhibit his ability to get funky with the ladies as he hypes his eponymous dance.

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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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