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Song Stories

“The Long and Winding Road”

The Beatles | 1970

Appearing on the Beatles’ valedictory Let It Be album, “The Long and Winding Road” can be taken as Paul McCartney’s graceful wave goodbye or, perhaps, as a requiem for the death of the band: “You left me standing here a long, long time ago.” Recorded in the days following their final performance, on the Apple Records rooftop in 1969 -- Ringo Starr was on hiatus; John Lennon have given his notice -- the lyrical acrimony became some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy when producer Phil Spector remixed it, adding strings and a choir, much to McCartney’s dismay. “It’s a sad song because it’s all about the unattainable,” McCartney said. “I was a bit flipped out and tripped out at the time.”

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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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