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Song Stories

“Under the Boardwalk”

The Drifters | 1964

The lilting summer soul song paints a familiar seaside scene (a carousel, hot dogs, French fries) and describes a couple "havin' some fun under the boardwalk," unbeknownst to the "people walking above." The song -- written by Kenny Young and Art Resnick -- was supposed to be sung by the group's Rudy Lewis, but the night before the session he died of a heroin overdose. Former lead vocalist Johnny Moore returned to the Drifters to cut the song, and it went to Number Four on the Billboard chart. "Very flattering to suggest 'UTB' was as well known as 'Happy Birthday,'" Young said of the song's immense popularity.

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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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