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Song Stories

“Seahorse”

Devendra Banhart | 2007

Regularly cited for his "freak-folk" sound, Devendra Banhart also shows his love of South American culture in songs such as "Seahorse," a tune with that spans eight minutes and has an almost literary arc. "There's something somewhat Blakean about it," Banhart said, citing the Romantic poet William Blake. "But musically, it’s the best thing I've ever ... it's the thing I'm most proud of." Going from acoustic lament to piano-driven shuffle, and with its climatic ending, "Seahorse" showcases Banhart in pronounced Jim Morrison mode: poetic and high on spiritual lust. And there’s even a flute solo.

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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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