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Posts Tagged ‘Van Morrison’

At number 22 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters is Northern Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison. Van Morrison is one of my favourite songwriters, he has written many memorable songs including “Bright Side of the Road”, “Brown Eyed Girl”, “Gloria”, “Moondance” and “Have I Told You Lately”.



At number 22 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Van Morrison.

At number 22 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Van Morrison.



Morrison was born George Ivan Morrison in 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He first came to prominence as the lead singer of a Rhythm and Blues band Them, who formed in 1964. In 1965 Them had two hit singles in the DUK, “Baby, Please Don’t Go” (which got to number 10) was an old delta blues standard which had been popularised in the 1930s by Big Joe Williams. Them’s second hit single was “Here Comes the Night” (which got to number 2) and was written by American songwriter Bert Berns. “Gloria”, written by Morrison, was the B-side of “Baby, Please Don’t Go”, but has gone on to become a more famous song.

In the summer of 1966, towards the end of a tour of the United States, Them split up, and although they would later go on to reform, this was the end of Morrison’s involvement in the band. In 1967 he launched his solo career with the release of the single “Brown Eyed Girl”. This song appears on his first solo album, “Blowin’ Your Mind”, which was released by Bang Records without his knowledge after he had originally recorded eight songs which he thought would be released as four separate singles. Morrison then signed with Warner Brothers and in 1968 he released “Astral Weeks”. This is often considered his greatest album, and featured in my blog here about the 500 greatest albums of all time, as it is in that list at number 19.

With so many good songs to choose from, it has been difficult for me to choose just one, but I have decided on his first solo single, “Brown Eyed Girl”. It is beautiful example of Morrison’s wonderful lyrics and ability to write great music, and nicely displays his vocal talents as well.


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…



Here is a video of this wonderful song. Enjoy!





Which is your favourite Van Morrison song?

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Before we discuss no. 19 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest albums, let’s summarise the entries from 30 to 20.

30 to 20

  • 30. Joni Mitchell – “Blue”
  • 29. Led Zeppelin – “Led Zeppelin”
  • 28. The Who – “Who’s Next”
  • 27. U2 – “The Joshua Tree”
  • 26. Fleetwood Mac – “Rumours”
  • 25. James Brown – “Live at the Apollo”
  • 24. Stevie Wonder – “Innervisions”
  • 23. John Lennon – “Plastic Ono Band”
  • 22. Robert Johnson – “The Complete Recordings”
  • 21. Chuck Berry – “The Great Twenty-Eight”
  • 20. – Michael Jackson – “Thriller”

No. 19 – Astral Weeks (Van Morrison)

I have this album. I bought it after I had bought a copy of Van Morrison’s Greatest Hits, and decided to find out more about his work. This is considered to be his best album by most critics. It was released in 1968 and, as one would expect from that time, is pretty hippyish. I like a number of the songs on this album, but I must admit my vinyl version has not been updated to a CD or mp3, and I have not listened to it in a while. Now is the time I guess to listen to it again through one of the streaming services.

I have seen Van Morrison live, in a small pub in Newport (South Wales), which was a warm-up for a major arena tour. He didn’t say a word to the audience, just performed the songs. He seemed almost mechanical, switched off and just going through the motion of performing his songs. I was a little disappointed, he did not attempt to engage the audience so there was no real feeling of it being live. This is in stark contrast to Joni Mitchell, and I mention her because she is at number 30 in this list. When I saw her at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1984 she was wonderful, she chatted with the audience, told us the story behind a few of her songs etc. She created a real connection between herself and the audience.


Firefox009


Possibly my favourite song on this album is “Sweet thing”



Which is your favourite Van Morrison album? Which is your favourite song of his? Who is the most engaging artist you have seen live?


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