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Song Stories

“This Is How We Do It”

Montell Jordan | 1995

While other rappers were portraying South Central L.A. as a gritty, crime-ridden place, Jordan's day-in-South-Central song had a friendly party vibe. "I could tell you stories about playing ball around the corner while The Bloods and The Crips were shooting, because I've been there," said Jordan, who grew up in a lower middle-class home there. "But that's not my story. My story is that even through all of the crap, that goes on in South Central, somehow I found a way to go to church and college." Jordan, who graduated summa cum laude from Pepperdine University, became a minister in 2010.

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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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