Tag: Moondance

Song Lyric Sunday – Moondance

Sir George Ivan “Van” MorrisonOBE 

This week for Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has encouraged us to “do our own thing”. We get to choose an artist and song to share with you. Most of you know that I am a big Van Morrison fan so I’m excited as I can share one of my all time favorite songs “Moondance”. It is from the album of the same name which was released in 1970. To me the song is so polished and it’s lively jazz feel makes it very special. Moondance is 50 years old and still sounds amazing. Van Morrison is to me the complete artist, writing and performing songs and sounding as good today, if not better, than he ever did. It’s as if his music is transcending time.

Moondance is the third studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, OBE, the Northern Irish singer-songwriter, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in her birthday honors in 2015. It was released on 27 January 1970 by Warner Bros. Records. After the commercial failure of his first Warner Bros. album Astral Weeks (1968), Morrison moved with his wife, Janet Planet, to a home on a mountain top in the Catskills near Woodstock, a hamlet in upstate New York with an artistic community. According to Planet, he was influenced by Bob Dylan, who had just moved out of town when Morrison arrived. “Van fully intended to become Dylan’s best friend”, Planet recalled. “Every time we’d drive past Dylan’s house … Van would just stare wistfully out the window at the gravel road leading to Dylan’s place. He thought Dylan was the only contemporary worthy of his attention.” 

The album found Morrison abandoning the abstract folk jazz compositions of Astral Weeks in favour of more formally composed songs, which he wrote and produced entirely himself. Its lively rhythm and blues/rock music was the style he would become most known for in his career. The music incorporated soul, jazz, pop, and Irish folk sounds into songs about finding spiritual renewal and redemption in worldly matters such as nature, music, romantic love, and self-affirmation.

Morrison began writing songs for Moondance in July 1969. Because of Astral Weeks‘s poor sales figures, the singer wanted to produce a record that would be more accessible and appealing to listeners. “I make albums primarily to sell them and if I get too far out a lot of people can’t relate to it”, he later said. “I had to forget about the artistic thing because it didn’t make sense on a practical level. One has to live.” The musicians who went on to record Moondance with Morrison were recruited from Woodstock and would continue working with him for several years, including guitarist John Platania, saxophonist Jack Schroer, and keyboardist Jef Labes. The singer left after the Woodstock music festival in August attracted an influx of people to the area.

Moondance was an immediate critical and commercial success. It helped establish Morrison as a major artist in popular music, while several of its songs became staples on FM radio in the early 1970s. Among the most acclaimed records in history, Moondance frequently ranks in professional listings of the greatest albums. In 2013, the album’s remastered deluxe edition was released to similar acclaim.  

Although the album never topped the record charts, it sold continuously for the next 40 years of its release, particularly after its digitally remastered reissue in 1990. In 1996, Moondance was certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, having shipped three million copies in the US. 

In the years following the original release, Moondance has been frequently ranked as one of the greatest albums ever. In 1978, it was voted the 22nd best album of all time in Paul Gambaccini’s poll of 50 prominent American and English rock critics. Christgau, one of the critics polled, named it the 7th best album of the 1970s in The Village Voice the following year. In a retrospective review, Nick Butler from Sputnikmusic considered Moondance to be the peak of Morrison’s career and “maybe of non-American soul in general”, while Spin deemed it “the great white soul album” in an essay accompanying the magazine’s 1989 list of the all-time 25 greatest albums, on which Moondance was ranked 21st. In 1999, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and in 2003, it was placed at number 65 on Rolling Stone‘s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. (It was ranked 66th in a 2012 revised list.) The album was also included in the 2000 edition of Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums (where it placed at number 79), the music reference book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2005), and Time magazine’s 2006 list of the “All-TIME 100 Albums”. The following year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame named Moondance one of their “Definitive 200” albums, ranking it 72nd. In 2009, Hot Press polled numerous Irish recording artists and bands, who voted it the 11th best Irish album of all time. Based on such rankings, the aggregate website Acclaimed Music lists it as the 96th most acclaimed album in history. 

Ryan H. Walsh wrote in Pitchfork:

“The album would solidify Van Morrison as an FM radio mainstay, act as a midwife for the burgeoning genre of ‘soft rock,’ and help usher in the ’70s in America, where the beautiful hippie couples of the late ’60s would soundtrack their developing newfound domestic comfort with the sweet sounds of Morrison’s mystical love-anthems.” 

Lyrics

Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
'Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the night's magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush

Can I just have one more moondance with you, my love
Can I just make some more romance with you, my love

Well, I want to make love to you tonight
I can't wait 'til the morning has come
And I know now the time is just right
And straight into my arms you will run
And when you come my heart will be waiting
To make sure that you're never alone
There and then, all my dreams will come true, dear
There and then, I will make you my own
And every time I touch you, you just tremble inside
And I know how much you want me, that you can't hide

Can I just have one more moondance with you, my love
Can I just make some more romance with you, my love

Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
'Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the night's magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush

Can I just have one more moondance with you, my love
Can I just make some more romance with you, my love

One more moondance with you, in the moonlight
On a magic night
La, la, la, la, la in the moonlight
On a magic night
Can't I just have one more moondance with you my love

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Van Morrison
Moondance lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Top Photo: Courtesy of vanmorrison.com

Second Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

Moondance story Courtesy of Wiki

Moondance

Moondance

On the night of the dead
Dressed to disguise
My lover, I think
Looked me in the eyes

Spellbound I gazed
into the center of his mask
Is this really him
I stopped myself to ask

He took my hand
and we wandered for a while
Weaving through the labyrinth
reaching the center aisle

We stopped and he whispered
Gently in my ear
Evocative words
that I wanted to hear

His voice was different
But I didn’t have a care
I shivered when we touched
I knew I shouldn’t dare

We walked on to a rivulet
Where he kissed me long
Wrapping his arms around me
So tightly and strong

We stood there together
Until I began to swoon
This was not my lover
I had just danced on the moon

Christine Bolton – Poetry for Healing ©

Word Prompts:

Rivulet

Dead

Center

Labyrinth

OctPoWriMo – Poem a Day #30 – Dancing on the Moon

Photo by Kym on Unsplash

Follow Poetry For Healing on WordPress.com
;

%d bloggers like this: