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Song Stories

“Tutti-Frutti”

Little Richard | 1955

“I wrote ‘Tutti Frutti’ in the kitchen,” said Little Richard of the bus station in his native Macon, Georgia,where he worked as a dishwasher. One day, the dishes piled up so high he thought he’d never get out of there alive for all the pots and pans; that’s when frustration rubbed up against gospel inspiration and out popped, “Womp-bomp-a-loo-momp a-lop-bomp-bomp.” It was the sound of what he was going to happen if he had to wash one more pan.

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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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