.

Song Stories

“Hurt”

Johnny Cash | 2002

Musicologists will be quick to interject that "Hurt" was originally a hit for Nine Inch Nails back in 1994, but when Johnny Cash took a stab at it in 2002 at the hands of producer Rick Rubin, he recorded what many consider to be the definitive version. Cash took Trent Reznor’s industrial soundscape about a tortured soul and stripped it bare, save for an acoustic guitar. "That song isn’t mine anymore," admitted Reznor. Instead, the song, which can partially be interpreted as a lament about the ravages of drug addiction, belongs to Cash, who sacrifices himself as the prime example. He died less than a year later.

prev
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 »
www.expandtheroom.com