Van Morrison tagged posts

Hearts Like Wheels: The Melancholy of Linda Ronstadt and Van Morrison

I was talking with a friend recently about my previous post on Van Morrison and his mood-laden song, “When the Leaves Come Falling Down.” He was telling me how another Morrison mooder, “Melancholia,” is reportedly Morrison’s only truly autobiographical song and, indeed, also represents my friend’s truest and deepest stance toward life. This surprised me a bit, inasmuch as my friend, whom I’ve known pretty well for most of my adult life, presents a rather relentlessly cheerful public persona, far removed from the dark brooding pathos of “Melancholia.” Yet it also put me on notice, again, of the deep sadness that underlies so much of life and so many people, a sadness virtually everyone meets on various and shifting terms throughout the peaks and vales of our brief tenures here.

This sadness is heightened in fall, when death and the loss of light all through nature rather massively reinforc...

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Van Morrison and the Deep Wisdom of the Leaves

I’ve long felt that fall is fortunate to be so gorgeous, otherwise we would never forgive it for all the grief we feel over summer’s end. Yet deeply interwoven into fall’s beauty is its profound sense of melancholy at time’s passage, all the brightness dimming now as the world inexorably darkens and decay and death spread across the landscape, there for us as reminder, as harbinger, as spur to savor the day.

Fall is a time to begin our long hunkering, but the dream of every romantic is to do so with one’s beloved, in a private enclosing world walled off from the coming darkness and cold. Few artists sketch that world with quite the stark beauty of Van Morrison, and in the vast sprawl of his career over a half-century, few songs have matched the super-charged romantic vision of When the Leaves Come Falling Down.

This 1999 song sees Morrison at both his songwriting and singing best, inhabiting a pl...

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