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Song Stories

“Military Madness”

Graham Nash | 1971

Though on the surface a jaunty early-1970s singer-songwriter outing, "Military Madness" portrays the devastation that war wreaked on Graham Nash's family and native country of England. The song is based on autobiographical experience that is "totally true," Nash said. "I was born in this upstairs room in a kind of hotel that had been turned into a hospital in an evacuation area....My father was in the army, while my mother was having me--February 2, 1942, in the midst of World War II." Lead guitar on the track is supplied by fellow rock star Dave Mason.

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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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