Song Stories

“You Keep Me Hangin' On”

The Supremes | 1966

Yet another Holland-Dozier-Holland hit single with Motown, "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was The Supremes eighth song to top the pop charts. It was recorded at Motown's Hitsville studio over the course of eight sessions before the label deemed it ready for release. Its opening stuttering guitar figure was actually inspired by Morse code. "'You Keep Me Hanging On' was about a girl complaining about the guys fooling around and we knew all about that because that was what we did," Lamont Dozier said. "We considered ourselves to be playboys."

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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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