Van Morrison: 9 Great versions of “Listen To The Lion”

And all my love come down
All my love come tumblin’ down
All my love come tumblin’ down
All my love come tumblin’ down
Oh, listen listen
To the lion
Oh, listen listen listen
To the lion…
Inside of me
Oh, oh, oh


“And all my love come tumbling down….” An 11-minute journey into music as a distillation of spirit, as Morrison searches his “very soul” for the lion “inside of me”. The music is as delicate as breath on a window pane, looking out on a vision of hope and redemption. Van’s voice scats, breathes, roars, lilts and sways before finally dissolving in a rapturous journey into glossolalia. “And we sailed and we sailed….”
~The Telegraph

Listen To The Lion” is one of my favorite Van Morrison songs. Here are 9 different versions.

Wikipedia:

Listen to the Lion” is a song featured on Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison’s sixth album, Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972). Its poetic musings and “bass-led shuffle” lead back to Astral Weeks territory.

Released July 1972
Recorded Spring/Summer 1971, Columbia Studios, San Francisco
Genre Folk rock, R&B
Length 11:08
Label Warner Bros. Records
Writer Van Morrison
Composer Van Morrison
Producer Ted Templeman, Van Morrison

..but arguably the best due to Van’s most amazing vocal performance ever. The song is an 11:08 minute soul journey into finding and following your inner voice amid crashing piano, cascading acoustic guitar, and strumming mandolin. That alone makes it a good song, but what takes it to best of all time level is at about the five minute mark Van stops singing words and starts scatting non-stop for the next 3 minutes. He growls, wails, roars, and howls as if possessed and wrestling with the lion inside. After these vocal fireworks the exhausted Van finishes the song barely whispering about sailing on a journey to mystical Caledonia. A fascinating, one of a kind song.
~theframjak (hubpages.com)

Van-Morrison-Saint-Dominic-s-Preview-1972

Album version:

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Van Morrison – 5 Wonderful Live Versions of “And The Healing Has Begun”

 

And we’ll walk down the avenue again
And we’ll sing all the songs from way back when
And we’ll walk down the avenue again and the healing has begun

And we’ll walk down the avenue in style
And we’ll walk down the avenue and we’ll smile
And we’ll say “baby, ain’t it all worthwhile?” when the healing has begun

“It starts just like ‘Cyprus Avenue’, no coincidence as the line about ‘songs from way back when’ hints, and with a walk down the avenue (of dreams), to the sound of a haunted violin. A song of full, blazing sex as well as revelation. The healing here is like that in Arthurian myth, the wounded King restored through the action of the Holy Grail, but it is also through as graphic a seduction, almost, as the original live version of “Gloria”
-Brian Hinton (Celtic Crossroads)

This beauty was recorded at the Record Plant Studios in Sausalito, California in spring 1979. He has performed it live 274 times according to the brilliant website ivan.vanomatic.de.

Here are 5 lovely versions..

Live At The Oasis Centre – Putting The Boot In – Swindon – 1999:

I want you to put on your pretty summer dress
You can wear your Easter bonnet and all the rest
And I want to make love to you yes, yes, yes, when the healing has begun

Louder, when the healing has begun
So good
Whoo
All right, whoo
Yeah
Aah
Whoo

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Van Morrison – 3 brilliant versions of “Carrickfergus”

I wished I had you in Carrickfergus
Only for nights in Ballygrand
I would swim over the deepest ocean
The deepest ocean to be by your side

Carrickfergus” is an Irish folk song, named after the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It was first recorded, under the name “The Kerry Boatman”, by Dominic Behan on an LP called “The Irish Rover”, released in 1965.

Van Morrison has performed “Carrickfergus” 86 times live (1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2002 & 2003) – top year was 1989 with 31 performances.

I love this song, and no one does it better than Van Morrison. Here are three brilliant versions.

From the album “Irish Heartbeat” w/The Chieftains:

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Van Morrison: 5 lovely live versions of “Caravan”

And the caravan is on it’s way
I can hear the merry gypsies play
Mama mama look at Emma Rose
She’s a-playin with the radio
La, la, la, la…

Originally recorded on July 30, 1969 at Mastertone Studios in New York City with Lewis Merenstein as producer. Released on “Moondance” January 27, 1970.

The gypsy life and the radio are both images of harmony, images that bless. Van is “getting back into the romanticism bit with gypsies and all that. I´m really fascinated by gypsies. I love them.” Van Morrison also based the song on real memories while living in a rural house in Woodstock, New York, where the nearest house was far down the road. He described why he included the reference to radio in the song:
-Brian Hinton (Celtic Crossroads)

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Van Morrison: 5 Wonderful Versions of “Vanlose Stairway”

Send me your picture
Send me your pillow
Send it through Krishna
On the Vanlose Stairway

..A larger point to be made with “Vanlose Stairway” is that no matter what words Morrison is singing, it is the music and singing itself that offers a glimpse at the soul — the true inspiration of the term soul music. And Morrison is nothing if not a soul singer. The lyrics just happen to add to the soul-stirring music. It does not matter that most people have no idea what Vanlose refers to, especially given that Morrison does not pronounce it correctly. But the descending three chords of the verse — played by a horn section and turnaround uplifting chorus — hit the listener on a gut level, especially on the powerful live recording of the song on A Night in San Francisco (1994), which truly transcends anything mere words could communicate.
-Bill Janovitz (allmusic.com)

Vanlose Stairway is track 7 on his 1982 album, Beautiful Vision. It has been performed 729 times live (289 times as part of a medley) according to ivan.vanomatic.de (great website btw).

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Van Morrison – 5 Wonderful Live Versions Of “In The Garden”

The streets are always wet with rain
After a summer shower when I saw you standin’
In the garden in the garden wet with rain

Released on his 1986 album “No Guru, No Method, No Teacher“, this is a major VM song – certainly  among his 10 best.

Van Morrison has played this beauty well over 400 times live, here are five of them.

Here are 5 Great live versions..
Special attention to Dublin 2012 – 5min & 16s and onwards – Van is obviously moved and it´s all MAGIC. In The Garden.

New University of Ulster
Coleraine, Ireland
April 20th 1988

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