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Song Stories

“White Rabbit”

Jefferson Airplane | 1967

Grace Slick wrote “White Rabbit” both as an homage to some of her favorite childhood books that featured children’s minds being altered after ingesting certain pills or liquids, and as a way to explain the drug lifestyle that ran rampant in the Sixties. “Our parents read us stories like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz,” the Jefferson Airplane frontwoman told Rolling Stone. “They all have a place where children get drugs, and are able to fly or see an Emerald City or experience extraordinary animals or people … And our parents are suddenly saying, ‘Why are you taking drugs?’ Well, hello!”

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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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