Song Stories

“Poor Boy”

Nick Drake | 1970

The jazzy, humorously self-pitying folk-rock of "Poor Boy" was given an unexpected jab by a chorus of soulful female singers gently making light of Nick Drake's sorrow. Pianist Chris McGregor only got to play on the track by asking to stick around after producer Joe Boyd mixed his record that morning. "When I heard 'Poor Boy,' I thought of 'So Long, Marianne' on the Leonard Cohen album and its mocking chorus of girls' voices," recalled Boyd. "When I suggested it to Nick, he looked at me for a minute, unsure how to respond, but didn't seem entirely convinced."

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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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