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Song Stories

“Push It”

Salt-N-Pepa | 1987

Originating as a B side to their cover of the Stax classic “Tramp,” Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandi “Pepa” Denton and Dee Dee “DJ Spinderella” Roper came up with the goods on this career-making, Grammy-nominated platinum single about working it on the dancefloor. “Push It” has been sampled and spliced to death since it debuted in 1987, yet the original track is as fresh and fly as when SNP — among the few original women of hip-hop — debuted it. “Most men will never believe ‘Push It’ was never about sex,” said James. “And that’s why the record went to Number One,” said Denton. “Everybody thought it was about sex.”

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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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