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Song Stories

“Four Winds”

Bright Eyes | 2007

Bright Eyes leader Conor Oberst received a Four Winds ring from a mysterious stranger before setting off to Tepoztlan, Mexico, to have the relic blessed. "A Native American friend of mine did it for me during a visit to the Pyramid of the Sun," Oberst said about the ritual. "Now it feels extra-magical and I wear it all the time." The ring was inspiration for this song off his 2007 album Cassadaga. Driven by a deep-fried fiddle, “Four Winds” makes reference to a William Butler Yeats poem and ponders questions of biblical proportions.

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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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