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Song Stories

“Hands All Over”

Soundgarden | 1989

When "Hands All Over" was released, Soundgarden were met with some resistance, concerning the lyrics "You're gonna kill your mother." But as Kim Thayil explained to Rolling Stone, the words were taken completely out of context. "I think there was a minor protest about [the lyric] — of course, 'your mother' being a metaphor for the environment or the Earth. People flipped out about that," the Soundgarden guitarist recalled. "But I am going to go on the record now to tell everyone, 'Kill your f---ing mother!'" he added, laughing.

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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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