Opinion | Josh Hawley’s Manhood, Mike Pompeo’s Midriff and Other 2024 Teases

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I’m making a slight change to the title and tilt of this feature and putting the focus on songs instead of lyrics, because you can’t have the latter without the former and I don’t know anyone who listens repeatedly to a song if only the lyrics are appealing. Besides, the most poetic, truest and funniest lyrics don’t hit their marks unless their aural trappings complement them.

The hundreds of unused nominations that you’ve sent in over time remain viable — you were always praising whole songs. And I’ll keep dipping into those nominations. I’m doing that today, with two very different but magnificent compositions that never lose their luster.

Fast Car,” written and performed by Tracy Chapman, is close to perfect. Scratch that: It is perfect. Released in 1988, it’s one of those ambitious songs, like Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle,” that tells a…

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