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Song Stories

“Walk Like an Egyptian”

The Bangles | 1986

A three-and-a-half-minute slice of mainstream guitar rock with a touch of girl-group pop, "Walk Like an Egyptian" also contains a whiff of novelty, with its odd subject matter of observing life on the Nile and the brief bout of whistling in the instrumental break. Written by Liam Sternberg, a demo featuring Marti Jones on vocals was turned down by Toni Basil of "Mickey" fame before making its way to the Bangles. Singer and drummer Debbi Peterson doesn't appear on the record, accounting in part for her description of the track in Rolling Stone as "a nice little novelty song kind of thing, but I don't feel like it's us."

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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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