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Song Stories

“We've Only Just Begun”

The Carpenters | 1970

This song, beautifuly sung by Karen Carpenter, was never intended to be a song at all. Written by veteran songwriters Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, it began as a TV jingle for a California bank, which caught Richard Carpenter’s ear. “I assumed that it would never, ever get cut again,” Williams told Rolling Stone. But when Carpenter asked if there was a full song attached to the jingle, Williams said yes, then rushed to actually finish the tune, which became one of the Carpenters' most enduring hits.

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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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