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Song Stories

“2112”

Rush | 1976

When Neil Peart took over as main songwriter for Rush, the Toronto-based prog rockers' songs suddenly took on a more imaginative and cinematic scope. And this was never more evident than on the title track of 2112, which tells the story of a man discovering a guitar during a time in the future when music is forbidden. As Peart explained, "I dreamt up this story of music being invented against a dystopian, totalitarian society." The drummer and lyricist would also admit to being inspired by the writing of Samuel R. Delany and Ayn Rand, specifically the latter's The Fountainhead and Anthem.

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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