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Song Stories

“Miss Murder”

AFI | 2006

Fifteen years and seven studio albums into its career, rock band AFI found mainstream success with "Miss Murder," off its first and only No. 1 album Decemberunderground. The song, which reached No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100, is about singer Davey Havok's internal struggle with fame and thoughts of death. Havok has said of the band's influences, "Each of us grew up on everything from punk to hardcore to dark '80s U.K. stuff like The Cure, Bauhaus, Joy Division and Sisters of Mercy. And there were rock bands like Guns N' Roses and Metallica and industrial bands like Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Front 242 and Alien Sex Fiend. And we all love The Smiths."

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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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