A Van Morrison Literary Playlist

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by Alisha Casey

One of our newest books features a collection of lyrics, both new and old, classic and rare, by one of the most influential lyricists and musicians of all time, Van Morrison. Lit Up Inside: Selected Lyrics by Van Morrison is the first book published by the legendary singer/songwriter and includes lyrics from some of his most well-known albums and the lesser known. There is something here for the casual Van fan like “Brown Eyed Girl” as well as several lesser known songs exclusively for the diehards.

Handpicked by Morrison himself, these lyrics represent what he has deemed his creative contribution. In Lit Up Inside, we get the full career of an artist from his point of view. Forwards by both fellow musician and poet David Meltzer and popular writer Ian Rankin set the scene for Morrison’s incredible life and work, and the lyrics tell the rest of the story.

In celebration of the new book, we’ve concocted a 5-song “playlist” below of several of Morrison’s songs paired with the lyrics from Lit Up Inside

1. “Songwriter”

I’m a songwriter and I know just where I stand
I’m a songwriter, pen and paper in my hand
Get the words on the page
Please don’t call me a sage
I’m a songwriter

2.  “Spanish Rose”

The wine beneath the bed
The things we’ve done and said
And all the memories that come glancing back to me
In my loneliness
Standing in the breach
The arms outstretched, but out of reach

3.  “You Know What They’re Writing About”

It’s a thing called love
Down through the ages
It makes you wanna cry sometime
It makes you feel like you wanna lay down and die sometime
It makes you high sometime

4.  “No Religion”

We didn’t know no better and they said it could be worse
Some people thought it was a blessing
Other people think that it’s a curse
It’s a choice between fact and fiction
And the whole world has gone astray
That’s why there’s no religion, no religion, no religion here today

5.  “Brown Eyed Girl”

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

This is just a short sample of the many songs Morrison wrote over career, and only five of the 100 + featured in Lit Up Inside. To read more, go to citylights.com where you can buy it for a 30% discount, or find it anywhere good books are sold.

For more Van, head to his official page.

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