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Song Stories

“Thela Hun Ginjeet”

King Crimson | 1981

When you've almost been mugged, you may want to get in touch with the authorities. Not guitarist Adrian Belew, who instead returned to the studio to tell his King Crimson mates about a dangerous encounter, which is retold in "Thela Hun Ginjeet." "I walked down one of the streets, and there was illegal gambling going on," Belew recalled. "It was done by a group of Rastafarian guys -- pretty tough looking -- and [they’d] gathered around me. They thought I was an undercover policeman -- I had short hair at the time. They were about to kill me; I don’t know how I talked my way out of it. I ran into the control room, and was telling Robert [Fripp] the story. Meanwhile, he had whispered to the engineer to record it, and that’s what you hear on the record." The song's curious title is an anagram of "heat in the jungle."

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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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