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Song Stories

“Take the Skinheads Bowling”

Camper Van Beethoven | 1985

Even for a band known for quirky indie rock, Camper Van Beethoven's determination to "Take the Skinheads Bowling" made for an offbeat song, the band jovially inserting lyrics about forgetting dreams and the failure of any of the song's lines to rhyme. It reached a new audience in 2002 when Teenage Fanclub's version was used on the soundtrack of Bowling for Columbine. "It's about nothing, really," CVB's David Lowery said. "But it's one of those songs that the more you repeat the mantra the more you understand it."

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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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