Song Stories

“Happy Pills”

Norah Jones | 2012

Norah Jones wrote this song with tunesmith Brian Burton (a.k.a. Danger Mouse) for her 2012 album Little Broken Hearts, but the two writers actually began working on the record in 2009. The song, Jones explained, is a perfect fit for the honest tone of the entire project. "It sounds happy," she told Rolling Stone, "but the lyrics are evil and f---ed up, which grounded it a little." Jones admitted she was partially inspired by a painful breakup to help her finish the album.

Song Stories Main Next

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."

More Song Stories entries »