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Song Stories

“Blinded by the Light”

Manfred Mann's Earth Band | 1976

Although Bruce Springsteen's original never charted, Manfred Mann's cover version topped the Billboard singles chart. Mann told Rolling Stone he was a better interpreter of other people's songs than a writer of his own. "If you listen to Springsteen's 'Blinded by the Light,' I've taken out words; I haven't been very honest to the original at all." When he replaced the line "cut loose like a deuce" with "revved up like a deuce," many misheard it as "wrapped up like a douche." Years later, Springsteen joked about it on VH1 Storytellers. "I have a feeling that is why the song skyrocketed to Number One," he said.

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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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