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Song Stories

“The Words That Maketh Murder”

PJ Harvey | 2011

PJ Harvey long intended to write an album about world affairs that you could also sing along to, which came to fruition in 2011 with Let England Shake. She made a conscious effort to avoid standard protest-song form on the album and on lead single "The Words That Maketh Murder," explaining "The words are very heavy going...the music I tried to make as uplifting and beautiful and rousing as I could...to offset this weight that was in the words," she said. The refrain "What if I take my problems to the United Nations?" pays homage to Eddie Cochran's lyrics in "Summertime Blues."

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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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