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Song Stories

“(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?”

Elvis Costello and the Attractions | 1979

Written by Nick Lowe for his pub-rock band Brinsley Schwarz, the song was recorded by Costello (but credited to Lowe) as a B side, then hastily added to the Attractions' Armed Forces album in the U.S. The lyrics wonder what had become of hippie ideals in the cynical Seventies; the song was rendered that much more powerful by the fact that both Lowe and Costello were identified with the anti-hippie punk and New Wave scenes. Lowe once said he was inspired to write the song by Judee Sill's 1971 folk song "Jesus Was a Crossmaker." "I sort of pinched that," he said.

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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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