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Song Stories

“This Is How We Do It”

Montell Jordan | 1995

While other rappers were portraying South Central L.A. as a gritty, crime-ridden place, Jordan's day-in-South-Central song had a friendly party vibe. "I could tell you stories about playing ball around the corner while The Bloods and The Crips were shooting, because I've been there," said Jordan, who grew up in a lower middle-class home there. "But that's not my story. My story is that even through all of the crap, that goes on in South Central, somehow I found a way to go to church and college." Jordan, who graduated summa cum laude from Pepperdine University, became a minister in 2010.

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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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