songwriting

The Civil Rights Anthem ‘Strange Fruit’ Is Never Easy to Hear

With the release of ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday,’ it’s time to remember that one of America’s greatest protest songs is also one of its most painful. It’s as ugly and discomforting as the racist violence it depicts.

Take Two: When Musicians Take a Second Crack at Their Own Songs

Dolly Parton is hardly the first artist who decided to tinker with her old material. In honor of ‘5 to 9,’ we look back at songs that were reinvented — and whether it made them better or worse

‘My Way’ Has Always Been the Anthem of Despicable Men

The Frank Sinatra standard, which even he hated, is the soundtrack to funerals and Donald Trump’s presidency. Why do guys get off on its endless self-pity?

It’s Time to Stop Hating ‘Wonderful Christmastime’

Paul McCartney’s divisive yuletide staple was recorded during a time of uncertainty and sonic experimentation for the former Beatle. Thirty years later, it’s still a terrific Christmas song, damn it.