.

Song Stories

“West End Girls”

Pet Shop Boys | 1984

Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant's worldwide Number One single evolved from Lowe watching a Jimmy Cagney gangster film and, as Lowe recalled, "Just as I was dropping off to sleep, into my head popped the song's opening line, 'Sometimes you're better off dead/There's gun in your hand and it's pointed at your head.' I thought, 'That's quite good.'" The Pet Shop Boys loved Grandmaster Flash's hip-hop track "The Message" and decided to take a stab at rapping themselves. "So I wrote a rap fallen on from those lines 'Sometimes you're better off dead,'" Lowe said, which he debuted in the song's intro.

prev
Song Stories Main Next

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."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com