Van Morrison sings songs that come from some sort of a deep place I'm not even sure I have. He's also crazy; which is very helpful in being a rock musician. I think that Astral Weeks is the greatest album of all time.
I'm not sure that any song hits home harder than Madame George does when Van starts wailing "and you know you gotta go / on that train from dublin up to sandy row / throwing pennies at the bridges down below / and the rain hail sleet and snow / say goodbye to madame george / dry your eyes for madame george." Madame George is not a song that I understand.
Van Morrison also has a really bad attitude. Check out this song I told Little Gun about a long time ago. Little Gun told me it wasn't on iTunes, so you know this shit is underground.
I love The Pogues. They are absurd. They have one song that a fair amount of people know. It's called Fairytale of New York. It's a killer song. It's a duet and in the end the woman accuses the guy, saying "I could have been someone...you took my dreams from me, when I first found you." The guy's response is chillingly beautiful. "I took them with me, babe, I put them with my own, can't make it all alone, I built my dreams around you." She musta been smitten.
Want to know what Shane said about that song when asked? "It's a beautiful song; I wish I could remember writing it." And now we've hit the nerve on The Pogues. Shane, the real spirit of the crew, always pushed it a little too far. His lifestyle was more over the top than I can relate here. Look it up if you're interested. I think he was drinking beer by age 4 and had his first whiskey at age 7, at which point he had a conversation with a goose. Or something.
I dare you to understand any lyrics to this song without looking them up. I dare you not to love this song once you do.
I'm not going to waste my time. Either you get it that this guys is transcendent or you don't. And if you don't then the maxium potential of YOUR heart is...less than.
One of my favorite readers sweet jane reminded me of this little gem the other day. It's a cover of the Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah. This is another song I don't quite get. Somehow it compares the story of David (the king) and Bathsheeba with a contemporary relationship. I would read a 90 page essay on this song if it was available.
The first 10 times I heard this version of the song I hated it. The next 10 I was confused. Now I think I get what he's trying to do. But I still don't understand this song.
The world is a wild, confusing place. The only sure bet is that the Irish do it best. Whatever it is.