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Song Stories

“We've Only Just Begun”

The Carpenters | 1970

This song, beautifuly sung by Karen Carpenter, was never intended to be a song at all. Written by veteran songwriters Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, it began as a TV jingle for a California bank, which caught Richard Carpenter’s ear. “I assumed that it would never, ever get cut again,” Williams told Rolling Stone. But when Carpenter asked if there was a full song attached to the jingle, Williams said yes, then rushed to actually finish the tune, which became one of the Carpenters' most enduring hits.

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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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