Classic Van Morrison Songs: Summertime in England

Can you meet me in the country
In the summertime in England
Will you meet me?
Will you meet me in the country
In the summertime in England
Will you meet me?

TOC

  • Facts
    • Album version – 1980
    • Montreux version – 1980
    • Grand Opera House version – 1983
    • Beacon Theater version – 1989
  • Lyrics
  • Live versions


Facts

  • Morrison started rehearsing “Summertime in England” in November and December 1979 along with “Haunts of Ancient Peace” at club gigs in the San Francisco area.
  • The album (Common One) version was recorded at Super Bear Studios in the French Alps in February 1980 and according to Mick Cox the second take was the one used on the album. The spoken section is in 3/4 time that begins with John Allair’s church organ fugue.
  • Common One” was released in August 1980.

  • A live performance of “Summertime in England” as performed by Morrison with most of the Common One band members is featured on the 2006 released DVD, Live At Montreux 1980/1974.
  • A live version was recorded during concerts at the Grand Opera House in Belfast and released as the B-side of a 12 inch single released in February 1983 on the Mercury label.
  • It is also one of the songs performed in 1989, on Morrison’s second video Van Morrison The Concert, released in 1990.

Common One version:

Lyrics

Inspired by a reading of Lyrical Ballads, the collection of poems by Wordsworth and Coleridge, Morrison calls up an honour roll of his literary and musical heroes, from the Romantic poets to gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, in an epic 15-minute musical suite that spins through a tapestry of shifting time signatures, jazz scat singing and baroque string arrangements, to arrive at a storming soul climax. Take home line: It ain´t why, why, why it just is…
Van Morrison: 30 essential songs – The Telegraph

Original lyrics

Can you meet me in the country
In the summertime in England
Will you meet me?
Will you meet me in the country
In the summertime in England
Will you meet me?
We’ll go riding up to Kendal in the country
In the summertime in England.
Did you ever hear about
Did you ever hear about
Did you ever hear about
Wordsworth and Coleridge, baby?
Did you ever hear about Wordsworth and Coleridge?
They were smokin’ up in Kendal
By the lakeside
Can you meet me in the country in the long grass
In the summertime in England
Will you meet me
With your red robe dangling all around your body
With your red robe dangling all around your body
Will you meet me
Did you ever hear about
William Blake
T. S. Eliot
In the summer
In the countryside
They were smokin’
Summertime in England
Won’t you meet me down Bristol
Meet me along by Bristol
We’ll go ridin’ down
Down by Avalon
Down by Avalon
Down by Avalon
In the countryside in England
With your red robe danglin’ all around your body free
Let your red robe go.
Goin’ ridin’ down by Avalon
Would you meet me in the country
In the summertime in England
Would you meet me?
In the Church of St. John
Down by Avalon
Holy Magnet
Give you attraction
Yea, I was attracted to you.
Your coat was old, ragged and worn
And you wore it down through the ages
Ah, the sufferin’ did show in your eyes as we spoke
And the gospel music
The voice of Mahalia Jackson came through the ether
Oh my common one with the coat so old
And the light in the head
Said, daddy, don’t stroke me
Call me the common one.
I said, oh, common one, my illuminated one.
Oh my high in the art of sufferin’ one.
Take a walk with me
Take a walk with me down by Avalon
Oh, my common one with the coat so old
And the light in her head.
And the sufferin’ so fine
Take a walk with me down by Avalon
And I will show you
It ain’t why, why, why
It just is.
Would you meet me in the country
Can you meet me in the long grass
In the country in the summertime
Can you meet me in the long grass
Wait a minute
With your red robe
Danglin’ all around your body.
Yeats and Lady Gregory corresponded
And James Joyce wrote streams of consciousness books
T.S. Eliot chose England
T.S. Eliot joined the ministry
Did you ever hear about
Wordsworth and Coleridge?
Smokin’ up in Kendal
They were smokin’ by the lakeside
Let your red robe go
Let your red robe dangle in the countryside in England
We’ll go ridin’ down by Avalon
In the country
In the summertime
With you by my side
Let your red robe go
You’ll be happy dancin’
Let your red robe go
Won’t you meet me down by Avalon
In the summertime in England
In the Church of St. John
Did you ever hear about Jesus walkin’
Jesus walkin’ down by Avalon?
Can you feel the light in England?
Can you feel the light in England?
Oh, my common one with the light in her head
And the coat so old
And the sufferin’ so fine
Take a walk with me
Oh, my common one,
Oh, my illuminated one
Down by Avalon
Oh, my common one
Oh, my storytime one
Oh, my treasury in the sunset
Take a walk with me
And I will show you
It ain’t why
It just is
Oh, my common one
With the light in the head
And the coat so old
Oh, my high in the art of sufferin’ one
Oh, my common one
Take a walk with me
Down by Avalon
And I will show you
It ain’t why
It just is.
Oh, my common one with the light in her head
And the coat so fine
And the sufferin’ so high
All right now.
Oh, my common one
It ain’t why
It just is
That’s all
That’s all there is about it.
It just is.
Can you feel the light?
I want to go to church and say.
In your soul
Ain’t it high?
Oh, my common one
Oh, my story time one
Oh, my high in the art of sufferin’ one
Put your head on my shoulder
And you listen to the silence.
Can you feel the silence?


Live Versions

June 18, 1980 – Montreux:

May 23, 1981 – NCRV Festival Rotterdam:

Jan 1982 – Great American Music Hall, San Francisco:

June 1982 – Ulster Hall, Belfast:

January 26, 1984 – The Music Fair “Midem” Cannes:


May 18, 1985 – Capitol Theatre, Passaic, New Jersey:

June 21, 1987 – Glastonbury Festival, Somerset:


December 19th, 1998 – Philipshalle, Dusseldorf, Germany [Rockpalast Christmas Special]:


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-Egil

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