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Van Morrison, circa 1967

I started discovering "grown-up" rock 'n' roll (Cream, Jefferson Airplane, Jethro Tull, Zappa, etc.) in high school. To my recollection, though, I never heard any Van Morrison until I went away to college. There, the barroom DJ's cranked out enough Morrison—"Jackie Wilson Said," "Blue Money," "Brown-Eyed Girl," Moondance" and many more—to get and keep my attention. I liked this guy's music.

For some reason, though, there were always other albums to buy, and Morrison kind of fell by the musical wayside. Many years later, when I thought it was time to start filling that gap in my musical library, I didn't know where to start because his catalog was so expansive.

One night, while I was listening to Pandora, the logjam broke. The station played "So Quiet in Here," from Morrison's Enlightenment album—a song I did not know—and I was hooked. What a beautiful song.The rhythm and melody float the listener away on a glimmering tide, and the words—oh, the words, tugging on the heart and urging us to live always in the moment, to savor times of gratitude and bliss:

Foghorns blowing in the night
Salt sea air in the morning breeze
Driving cars all along the coastline
This must be what it's all about
(Chorus:) Oh this must be what it's all about
This must be what paradise is like
So quiet in here, so peaceful in here
So quiet in here, so peaceful in here

The warm look of radiance on your face
And your heart beating close to mine
And the evening fading in the candle glow
This must be what it's all about

All my struggling in the world
And so many dreams that don't come true
Step back, put it all away
It don't matter, it don't matter anymore

A glass of wine with some friends
Talking into the wee hours of the dawn
Sit back and relax your mind
This must be, this must be, what it's all about

Big ships out in the night
And we're floating across the waves
Sailing for some other shore
Where we can be what we wanna be
Oh this must be what paradise is like
This must be what paradise is like
Baby it's so quiet in here, so peaceful in here
So quiet in here, so peaceful in here
So quiet in here, so peaceful in here
So quiet in here, you can hear, it's so quiet

Van's got it right: When it comes to music that touches and heart and mind, "This must be, this must be, what it's all about." Judge for yourself:
(This must be what paradise is like)

As I said, "So Quiet in Here" broke the logjam. Today's mail brought Van Morrison: Still on Top—the Greatest Hits. Three CDs, 51 songs. I've got some catching up to do.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 18th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
If you find you need more, holler -- I may have some I can suggest. My current absolute favorites of his are "Days Like This" and "I Forgot That Love Existed."
Apr. 19th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC)
Are those CDs or tracks?
Apr. 19th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)
Beautiful lyrics. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Apr. 19th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC)
I hardly ever post lyrics, but those words are beautiful—and the song is pretty much perfect. Hits you right in the heart, it does.
Apr. 20th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
I've got lots of mid-career Van - the spiritual years - but they're on CASSETTE. GAH! I need to update. Surly youth #1 is a huge Van fan, and has lots of his stuff that I've never even heard of.

On cassette I've got:
Poetic Champions Compose 1987
Avalon Sunset 1989
Enlightenment 1990
Hymns To the Silence (a 2-cassette set)1991
Too Long In Exile 1993

On cd:
Super Hits (a budget-priced compilation)
Keep It Simple 2008 (I think that's his latest)
Apr. 20th, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
If the rest of Enlightenment is as good as "So Quiet in Here," it's got to be a masterpiece. What a wonderful song.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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