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Song Stories

“Yonkers”

Tyler, the Creator | 2011
Tyler, the Creator opens his debut album with “Yonkers,” a disturbed confessional told through his alter ego Wolf Haley. The head of the Odd Future collective fantasizes about stabbing Bruno Mars in his “goddamn esophagus” among other deviant acts of vengeance. “That’s me and him going at it in my head,” Tyler told the Swedish Web site PSL about the song’s tussle with his alter ego. “Every line that I say is like contradicting itself.” The song capped off a year of hype after Odd Future’s self-produced mix tapes hit the Internet and the artist was criticized for misogynist and homophobic lyrics.
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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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