Van Morrison’s 50 Greatest Songs Countdown – #35 Orangefield

On a gold autumn day
You came my way in Orangefield
Saw you standing by the riverside in Orangefield
How I love you then in Orangefield
Like I love you now in Orangefield

TOC

  1. Facts
  2. Quotes
  3. Lyrics
  4. Live versions
  5. Cover versions

Facts


Wikipedia:

Released on his 1989 album Avalon Sunset. It was released as a single in December 1989.
The song takes place on “a golden autumn day” and is named for the school for boys (now Orangefield High School) that Morrison attended during his youth in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

“Orangefield” was recorded in summer 1988 at Eden Studios in London with Mick Glossop as engineer. 

Brian Hinton gave his interpretation of the song and lyrics as: “In ‘Orangefield’ we’re back in the territory of Astral Weeks in both historical and psychic terms … she was the apple of his eye—both fruitful (like the name of his school) and Eve tempting him to sin—and her beauty becomes like the sun, or God.”

Another biographer, Clinton Heylin defined the song: “Certainly in ‘Orangefield’, another installment in Morrison’s perennial paean to a ‘lost love in Belfast’, the words say very little but the mood is persuasive. Back in touch with the spirit of yesteryear, he walks through the old park remembering ‘a golden autumn day’ [when] you came my way in Orangefield.”

Personnel

Live:

  • Known Performances: 92
  • First performance: May 18, 1989 in Swansea, Wales
  • Last performance: August 24, 2014 in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Quotes

Orangefield hits a familiar theme, the purity of young love back in Ulster days, and lyric doesn’t elaborate much, but Morrison is in strident, inspired voice and he ladles on arrangements to match; thumping drums, banging grand piano, torrents of strings. Although retrospective, the lyric insists that the singer “loves you now in Orangefield”, as if the intervening years don’ matter; the moment is out of time, ever-present.
–> Neil Spencer (The Ultimate Guide to Van Morrison – UNCUT Magazine)

One track that also should have been selected for a place on the second greatest hits album is Orangefield. It benefits from a winning melody, which has a strong acoustic guitar break and piano. The strings add to the emotion of the chorus but in a gutsy way as opposed to bringing the tempo down. The song is an ode to a loved one whose appearance obviously made a significant impact on Morrison. The season is autumn again and the descriptive lyrics find a contented singer happily reminiscing about Ulster.
–> Mark Holmes  (Van Morrison 20 Best Albums: A Guide)

 

Lyrics

On a gold autumn day
You came my way in Orangefield
Saw you standing by the riverside in Orangefield
How I love you then in Orangefield
Like I love you now in Orangefield

And the sun shone on your hair
When I saw you there in Orangefield
Saw you standing by the riverside in Orangefield
How I loved you then in Orangefield
Like I love you now in Orangefield

And the sun shone so bright
And it lit up all our days
You were the apple of my eye
Baby it’s true

On a golden autumn day
All my dreams came true in Orangefield
On a throne of Ulster day
You came my way in Orangefield
How I loved you then in Orangefield
Like I love you now in Orangefield

And the sun shone so bright
And it lit up all our lives
And the apple of my eye
Baby was you

On a throne of Ulster day
You came my way in Orangefield
Saw you standing by the riverside in Orangefield

How I loved you then in Orangefield
Like I love you now in Orangefield
How I loved you then in Orangefield
Like I love you now in Orangefield.

Live versions

Stadtpark Freilichtbühne, Hamburg, Germany – June 4, 1989

NEC Arena, Birmingham, England  – July 18, 1989

Beacon Theater, New York, New York – November 30, 1989

Toldkammeret, Helsingør, Denmark, August 5th, 1995

Orangefield High School, Belfast, Northern Ireland – August 22, 2014

Cover Versions

Gary Simpson, Mark Crooks, Frankie Shanks and Colin Manson

Sources

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.