Tag: Van Morrison

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

Song Lyric Sunday – Into The Mystic

I’ve been waiting to share probably my most favorite Van Morrison song with you and this is the week! Jim Adams, our host of Song Lyric Sunday, prompted us with the elements. Air, Fire, Earth and Water. I have gone with water and Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic”. It has a beautiful poetic verse and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

This is about a sailor at sea thinking about returning to his lover, who is back on land. Normally a foghorn signals danger, but in this case it means he is close to home and his love.

There is room for interpretation beyond the superficial meaning. It might be interpreted as expressing an understanding that life is finite (the ship sailing on its round trip) and must be lived to its fullest (“I want to rock your Gypsy soul”), and an acceptance of its inevitable end (“We will magnificently float into the mystic, when the foghorn blows I will be coming home”). When you have seen the world and loved someone, you should have no reason to fear the end because you have lived your life to the fullest.

The original title was “Into the Misty.”
According to Morrison, he couldn’t decide whether the first line should be “We were born before the wind” or “We were borne before the wind.”
This was played in the 1989 Mary Stuart Masterson movie Immediate Family. She played a woman who was young and pregnant and planning to give her baby to Glenn Close and James Woods, who couldn’t have a baby of their own.

According to a BBC survey, because of this song’s cooling, soothing vibe, this is one of the most popular songs for surgeons to listen to whilst performing operations.

Courtesy of Songfacts

Lyrics

We were borne before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won
As we sailed into the mystic

Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that foghorn blows
I will be coming home
And when the foghorn blows
I want to hear it

I don't have to fear it and I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And magnificently we will flow into the mystic

When that fog horn blows
You know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows
I got to hear it

I don't have to fear it and I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will flow into the mystic

Come on, girl
Too late to stop now

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Van Morrison
Brand New Day lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Song Lyric Sunday – Cold Wind In August

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with Freeze/Cold/Ice for Song Lyric Sunday. For some reason I found this very difficult. I found some songs but they weren’t speaking to me. After some digging I come up with this early Van Morrison number called “Cold Wind In August” from his 1977 Period of Transition album.

Van Morrison is one of my favorite artists. He, to this day, is still performing and recording high quality work. I’ll never tire of listening to him. Hope you enjoy it too.

Have a great Sunday!





Lyrics - Cold Wind In August
Van Morrison


I waited for you
You waited for me
That it seemed like, seemed like a mighty long time
 
Baby I had to have you
Oh, I had to have you
Come rain, rain or shine
 
It was a cold wind in August
Shivers up and down my spine
I was standin' in your garden
In the California pine
 
I was standing shivering
I've got the fever in the rain
But I can't come on back to see you
Again and again and again
 
I said I, I had to have you
Baby I had to have you
Come rain, come rain or shine
 
It was a cold wind in August
Shivers up and down my spine
And I was standing in your garden
 
In the California pine
California pine
 
It was a cold wind in August
Shivers up and down my spine
I was standin' in your garden
In the California pine
In the California pine It was a cold wind in August
I was pushed on through September
Oh pushin' through September
In the rain

Pushin' through, pushin' through September
In the rain
 
Ooh
It was a cold wind in August
Shivers up and down my spine
I was standin', standin' in your garden
In the California pine
 
Songwriters: Van Morrison
Cold Wind in August lyrics © BMG Rights Management
 

Song Lyric Sunday – Brown Eyed Girl

This week Helen Vahdati's Song Lyric Sunday is "Girls" and I am choosing
Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison.  How can you feel anything but happy
when you hear this song? 

Lyrics
Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison

Hey, where did we go
Days when the rains came ?
Down in the hollow
Playing a new game,
Laughing and a-running, hey, hey,
Skipping and a-jumping
In the misty morning fog with
Our, our hearts a-thumping
And you, my brown-eyed girl,
You, my brown-eyed girl.

Whatever happened
To Tuesday and so slow
Going down to the old mine with a
Transistor radio.
Standing in the sunlight laughing
Hide behind a rainbow's wall,
Slipping and a-sliding
All along the waterfall
With you, my brown-eyed girl,
You, my brown-eyed girl.

Do you remember when we used to sing
Sha la la la la la la la la la la dee dah
Just like that
Sha la la la la la la la la la la dee dah
La dee dah.

So hard to find my way
Now that I'm all on my own.
I saw you just the other day,
My, how you have grown!
Cast my memory back there, Lord,
Sometime I'm overcome thinking about
Making love in the green grass
Behind the stadium
With you, my brown-eyed girl,
You, my brown-eyed girl.

Do you remember when we used to sing
Sha la la la la la la la la la la dee dah
Laying in the green grass
Sha la la la la la la la la la la dee dah
Dee dah dee dah dee dah dee dah dee dah dee
Sha la la la la la la la la la la la la
Dee dah la dee dah la dee dah la
D-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d...
 
 

Song Lyric Sunday – Soul

Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday  this week is SOUL.

My first thoughts were to go for the soul songs of the 60s.  Sam and Dave, Wilson Picket, Otis Redding etc. but I opted for Van Morrison’s song Soul.  The lyrics are his beautiful poetry …

Soul is a feeling, feeling deep within
Soul is not the color of your skin
Soul is the essence, essence from within”
It is where everything begins

It is the right choice for me.

Have a great day!

Lyrics

Soul

Van Morrison

Soul is a feeling, feeling deep within
Soul is not the color of your skin
Soul is the essence, essence from within
It is where everything begins

Soul is what you’ve been through
What’s true for you
Where you going to
What you’re gonna do

Soul is your station for the folk of your nation
Something that you wear with pride
Soul can be your vision or something that is hidden
It’s not something that you gotta hide

Soul is what you’ve been through
What’s true for you
Where you going to
What you’re gonna do

Soul can be your station for the folk of your nation
Something that you wear with pride
Soul can be your vision it can be your religion
Something that you just can’t hide

Soul is a feeling, feeling deep within
Soul is not the color of your skin
Soul is the essence, essence from within
Soul is where everything begins

Songwriters: Van Morrison

Soul lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Song Lyric Sunday – Search

Van Morrison – Van the Man – is my favorite artist.  He is still touring and recording amazing albums.  This is a lovely song about searching.  Enjoy!

in response to Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday – Search

Philosophers Stone
Van Morrison

Out on the highways and the by-ways all alone
I’m still searching for, searching for my home
Up in the morning, up in the morning out on the road
And my head is aching and my hands are cold
And I’m looking for the silver lining, silver lining in the clouds
And I’m searching for and
I’m searching for the philosophers stone
And it’s a hard road, Its a hard road daddy-o
When my job is turning lead into gold
He was born in the back street, born in the back street Jelly Roll
I’m on the road again and I’m searching for
The philosophers stone
Can you hear that engine
Woe can you hear that engine drone
Well I’m on the road again and I’m searching for
Searching for the philosophers stone
Up in the morning, up in the morning
When the streets are white with snow
It’s a hard road, it’s a hard road daddy-o
Up in the morning, up in the morning
Out on the job
Well you’ve got me searching for
Searching for, the philosophers stone
Even my best friends, even my best friends they don’t know
That my job is turning lead into gold
When you hear that engine, when you hear that engine drone
I’m on the road again and I’m searching for the philosophers stone
It’s a hard road even my best friends they don’t know
And I’m searching for, searching for the philosophers stone
According to Wikipedia
The Philosopher’s Stone (album) The Philosopher’s Stone is a compilation album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison released in 1998 (see 1998 in music). The songs released on this 2-CD thirty-track album were previously unreleased outtakes from 1969 to 1988.
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