Song Stories

“Love Is a Battlefield”

Pat Benatar | 1983

Songwriters Holly Knight and Mike Chapman were gathered at Chapman's house to write music when Pat Benatar called and asked Chapman if he could write a song for her. He agreed--as long as Knight could co-write it. After Knight came up with some chords, Knight remembers that Chapman said "Let's write something really, really weird on top of it. That'll make it special." As an example, Chapman free associated the words "love is a battlefield." Originally written as a ballad, the two were shocked to learn Benatar had turned it into a rebellious rocker.

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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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