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Song Stories

“The End”

The Doors | 1967

A gentleman harboring an Oedipus complex was not a common theme in 1960s rock. But Jim Morrison was not your average lyricist, as evidenced by "The End." "It's about a man who inadvertently killed his father and married his mother," Morrison told Rolling Stone. "But to tell you the truth, every time I hear that song, it means something else to me. I really don't know what I was trying to say. It just started out as a simple goodbye song." "The End" would enjoy a second life in 1979 when it appeared in the opening and closing scenes of Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam film Apocalypse Now.

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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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