This great song from the album Avalon Sunset (1989) was first performed live May 18, 1989 (Swansea, Wales), and last time VM played it in concert was August 24, 2014 (Orangefield High School,
Belfast). It has been performed 92 times live, mostly in 1989 & 1990.
Here are 4 great versions…
Stadtpark Freilichtbühne, Hamburg, Germany
June 4, 1989
- Album version – 1980
- Montreux version – 1980
- Grand Opera House version – 1983
- Beacon Theater version – 1989
- Live versions
- 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.
That was a wonderful remark
I had my eyes closed in the dark
I sighed a million sighs
I told a million lies, to myself, to myself
- Originally recorded in August 1969 at one of the Moondance studio sessions at Century Sound Studios in New York City, but this version of the song remains unreleased.
- First released on the soundtrack album for the 1983 film The King of Comedy.
Also featured on The Best of Van Morrison (1990) and the benefit album Nobody’s Child: Romanian Angel Appeal (1990). In 2007 it appeared on two compilation albums: Still on Top – The Greatest Hits and Van Morrison at the Movies – Soundtrack Hits.
Spread your wings
Come on fly awhile
Straight to my arms
Little angel child
You know you only
Lonely twenty-two story block
I was in San Francisco one time in 1966 and I was attracted to the city. It was the first time I had been there, and I was sitting in this hotel and all these things were going through my head, and I had a flash about an actress in an opera house appearing in a ballet, and I think that’s where the song came from.
-Van Morrison (to Ritchie Yorke)
If anyone ever argues that Morrison cannot sing – an unlikely scenario anyway – then simply play them this. All human emotion is crystallised here, and subtly vocalised: desire, joy, hope, world weariness, consolidation, awe & anticipation. The “angel child” here is also a fully mature woman. What sounds like a penny whistle comes in just at the end, almost subliminally. Van´s Celtic phase starts here.
-Brian Hinton (Celtic Crossroads)
Ballerina was recorded during the last Astral Weeks session on October 15, 1968 at Century Sound Studios in New York City. Lewis Merenstein was the producer.
He has performed it live 180 times according to the brilliant website ivan.vanomatic.de.
Here are 6 thrilling versions:
2/2/1974 – Winterland, San Francisco, CA:
“Cyprus Avenue” is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and included on his 1968 album Astral Weeks. In performance it was a concert highlight and closer for years to come and would end with Morrison’s command, “It’s too late to stop now!” as he stalked from the stage. A dynamic 10 minute version with the usual stop-start ending was included on his 1974 live album, It’s Too Late To Stop Now.