This is about poetess Sylvia Plath and her suicide. Crackle And Drag was the last poem she wrote. The blacks refer to stage curtains, hence the phrase "Hear her blacks crackle and drag" refers to her exiting this world.
Two versions exist back to back on this album. The first is an uptempo rocker that harkens back to Westerberg's days in The Replacements. The second is an introspective acoustic number.
Suggestion credit: John - Levittown, NY, for above 2
There was a rumor in the Soviet Union that The Beatles had secretly visited the U.S.S.R. and given a private concert for the children of top Communist party members. They believed the song "Back In The U.S.S.R." was written because of the concert. Actually, some fans still believe so.
"Piano Man" was inspired by Billy Joel's time playing at a piano bar in Los Angeles. The "real estate novelist" was a guy who always talked about writing a book, but spent all his spare time in the bar.