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Bruce Springsteen – How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live? Lyrics 13 years ago
This song was originally written by Blind Alfred Reed in the 1920s(?) and Bruce kept the first verse and the refrain when he wrote his own song in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

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Randy Newman – Texas Girl At The Funeral Of Her Father Lyrics 13 years ago
I think this song is gorgeous... it's amazing to me to see a man write and sing such a poignant song for the other gender like this. I wish more songwriters wrote like Randy Newman.

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Bruce Springsteen – Back In Your Arms Lyrics 13 years ago
I can't believe no one has commented on this song...

One of the most incredible, heartfelt, moving and emotionally charged songs I've ever heard. I love this song even when I'm not heartbroken.

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Elvis Costello – The Other End (Of the Telescope) Lyrics 14 years ago
This might be my favorite Elvis song. Everything about it is perfect. The piano rolls at the end, the rising and falling melody, the imagistic lyrics...

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Randy Newman – Let's Burn Down The Cornfield Lyrics 14 years ago
I have no idea if there's a deeper meaning here, as there usually is with Newman, but I doubt if there is that he'd hide it. I think it's safe to take this song at face level; it's a delightfully wonky love song sung seemingly by a pyro.

I just love the instrumentation. The bass, guitar, the bubbling percussion all add up to an incredibly dark and almost demonic sound.

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Sufjan Stevens – Come On! Feel the Illinoise! (Part 1: The World's Columbian Exposition; Part 2: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream) Lyrics 14 years ago
I just love the line:

Even in his heart the Devil has to know the water level.

While Carl is asking Sufjan if he's writing from the heart, which Sandburg (as a poet) I believe must have valued, he throws that line in as if to say, "I don't even care if you're the Devil... is it from the heart?" Considering that the next song on the album is John Wayne Gacy, Jr., the question becomes even more poignant as it seems to inspire Sufjan to explore whether he is the Devil or not... beautiful sequencing on the album. I love artists who can work on such a large scale like this.

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Jackson Browne – For A Dancer Lyrics 14 years ago
This is my favorite Jackson Browne song right now... it's an incredibly moving meditation on death (especially "there is one dance you'll do alone", that line gets me every time). The absolute best part, however, is that, for once, death inspires hope. Jackson literally turns my frown upside down every time I get past the violin solo.

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Barenaked Ladies – A Lyrics 14 years ago
BTW, Arthur the lovable drunk, while he may be an autistic kid Kevin knew, is clearly a reference to the 1981 movie "Arthur."

I also have heard, but can't confirm at the moment, that every "A" at the beginning of a line is sung as an A note. If that's true, then it's just wicked cool.

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Barenaked Ladies – The Wrong Man Was Convicted Lyrics 14 years ago
I had a similar experience to Redlight this fall... incredible hidden jewel in BNL's catalog.

I also recommend War on Drugs for a similarly hidden beautiful song.

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Barenaked Ladies – Maybe Katie Lyrics 14 years ago
I like the Steve and Ed dual approach to the song, which makes it seem like it would be good fodder for some fun onstage banter between the two (sadly, I didn't get to see them on tour for this album, so I don't know).

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Randy Newman – Louisiana 1927 Lyrics 14 years ago
Originally reflective of both a catastrophic disaster to New Orleans and the surrounding area, and also of the lax political reaction that in part led to an immovable African-American democratic voting block, this song has even newer meaning now, as history repeats itself...

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Jon Brion – Strings That Tie To You Lyrics 14 years ago
The reason the instrumentals are so short on the album is because they're so short in the movie. The movie never slows down enough for the music, and that's why the music is brilliant... if it was as fast as the movie, it'd be irritating. Instead, it's frustrating that music is slow and then cut away from, which is exactly the purpose the music exists to fill... frustraion. It's brilliant and beautiful at the same time.

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Randy Newman – Burn On Lyrics 14 years ago
Refers to the last time the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland lit on fire, which happened in the late '60s I think. More generally, though, it's also a parody of such location-specific odes. Writing in glowing prose about the virtues of anywhere is certainly a ripe target... this is the only parody of that style that I know of. And Cleveland is about as unromantic a city as possible (except maybe Detroit or Pittsburgh, or any other largely industrial city), which makes the parody perfect.

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Bruce Springsteen – Long Time Comin' Lyrics 14 years ago
This is my favorite song off the new album...

It's pretty clearly a man looking back at his life and his wife and kids, and having an epiphany.

I heard a bootleg of this from '96, just Bruce solo on guitar, and I gotta say having a small band behind him helps him on songs like this.

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Dire Straits – Romeo And Juliet Lyrics 14 years ago
Actually, the song from West Side Story is "Somewhere"

There's a place for us... Somewhere a place for us...

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Randy Newman – God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind) Lyrics 14 years ago
It's so extreme it's hard to tell if he's being facetious or not...

That's why I love Randy Newman.

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Bruce Springsteen – Land of Hope and Dreams Lyrics 15 years ago
This song is gorgeous. Just gorgeous. He said he was trying to channel the Dylan epics he was so fond of, but I think I he outdid them. Just gorgeous.

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Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill Lyrics 15 years ago
I heard that the eagle that flew out of the night was Bruce Springsteen. Apparently, Gabriel decided to go solo after seeing one ot the Boss' legendary mid-70's epic shows. "He was something to observe" and Peter "had to listen had no choice." The rest of the song is Gabriel explaining his departure from Genesis.

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Bruce Springsteen – After The Thunder Lyrics 15 years ago
I don't believe that Bruce wrote this song but rather I believe it was written by a fan.

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Bruce Springsteen – Backstreets Lyrics 15 years ago
How has no one commented on this, perhaps Bruce's most heartbreaking song? One of the most painful tales of betrayal I've ever heard! Listen to Bruce wail after the third verse and then wail on his guitar for a vicious-yet-understated solo. Powerful, powerful song.

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Bruce Springsteen – All That Heaven Will Allow Lyrics 15 years ago
I love this song, especially The Mavericks' cover version of it. But it's Bruce's lyrics that are just great.

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Bruce Springsteen – All That Heaven Will Allow Lyrics 15 years ago
I love this song, especially The Mavericks' cover version of it. But it's Bruce's lyrics that are just great.

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Bruce Springsteen – All That Heaven Will Allow Lyrics 15 years ago
I love this song, especially The Mavericks' cover version of it. But it's Bruce's lyrics that are just great.

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Linda Ronstadt – Across The Border Lyrics 15 years ago
Bruce Springsteen originally wrote this song, but Linda does a good version.

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Emmylou Harris – Across The Border Lyrics 15 years ago
This song was written by Bruce Springsteen, but Emmylou does a very nice version.

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Electric Light Orchestra – Do Ya Lyrics 15 years ago
I have never heard anything as joyous as the repeated string segment on the But I... lines. Pure ecstasy.

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Bruce Springsteen – Stolen Car Lyrics 15 years ago
I personally find the Tracks version to be better than the River version. I understand the whole etherealness he was going for on the album, but the straight-forward treatment on Tracks hits me more every time.

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Guster – Homecoming King Lyrics 15 years ago
When they played this at the Keep It Together CD Launch Concert in Boston City Hall Plaza, Ryan announced that everyone there should love this new song - "We even managed to say Massachusetts in it, not once but twice! And whenever we play this song out of state, we will never change the place to where we are, it will always be Massachusetts."

Obviously, that and this song got a hugely positive reception.

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Bruce Springsteen – Thunder Road Lyrics 15 years ago
Hits me every time. Absolute truth, set two piano and accordion.

Only Bruce could say "You ain't a beauty, but hey you're all right" and make it sound like the pledge it is.

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Guster – Come Downstairs And Say Hello Lyrics 15 years ago
I always thought of this one as Guster's tribute to Pink Floyd.

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Bruce Springsteen – Downbound Train Lyrics 15 years ago
One of the more depressing songs Bruce ever wrote, and you can hear the pain in his voice on this one. Not surprising it was one of the few from BITUSA that wasn't a single.

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Bruce Springsteen – Cautious Man Lyrics 15 years ago
The tattooes are a little over-the-top, but the story of this song is still very palpable.

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Randy Newman – Political Science Lyrics 15 years ago
One of the most blisteringly brilliant satirical songs I've ever heard. It takes on a whole new meeaning after the Iraq war, and has become all the more important.

I saw Randy Newman on a late night show, and he was brought on to play this thirty-year-old song. That's how important this facetious song is.

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