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New Mix: The Songs Remain The Same, But All The Meanings Have Changed

Clockwise from upper left: Lizzo, Leonard Cohen, Sinkane, Rubblebucket, Ty Segall
Courtesy of the artists
Clockwise from upper left: Lizzo, Leonard Cohen, Sinkane, Rubblebucket, Ty Segall

Have you ever been broken-hearted and every song you hear suddenly seems to be about you and your ex? This post-election week felt a lot like that: As we began to think about the music we'd play, I noticed that songs I'd listened to a week before had a different meaning now. The messages I heard took on a more profound and prophetic tone. A track from Sinkane has the refrain, "as long as we try, we're all going to be all right." There's music from the Brooklyn powerhouse Rubblebucket with the message, "Our enemies are our greatest teachers." A song Robin Hilton plays on this week's show, by the soul singer Lizzo, includes the line "Come on now, dry your eyes / I know that it's hard but you've got to try."

Last week we also learned about the death of Leonard Cohen. He knew You Want It Darker, released last month, would be his final album, and it was clear that the message in the title track lyrics were about his mortality. Still, even "You Want It Darker" took on a more powerful meaning.

And so this edition of All Songs Considered is dedicated to this transitional time, to our inner feelings and how they affect the way music moves us.

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Robin Hilton
Robin Hilton is the Senior Podcast Producer for NPR Music and hosts the New Music Friday episodes of All Songs Considered. He is also a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose original scores have appeared in podcasts, films, radio programs and other works. He arranged and performed the theme for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and composed and performed its elections coverage theme. You can hear more of his music here.
Bob Boilen
In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.