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Van Morrison is known primarily for his short Irish folk/soul 60s and 70s hits. The fuller and unedited side of him takes the form of long, rambling (in the good sense) semi-stream of consciousness meditations on life, with the expansiveness of Irish universes unfolding and deflowered in his stammers and his bite, to chew on a view in fullness with the revelation of the moment, stammering to find the right line, the right life line to vision.
Religion is a heavy theme hanging over much of his music, but it’s the religion of human experience, the poetic religion of symbols, or at the least he gives enough room for my militant atheist heart to look at it that way. Van’s revelation goes beyond the mere happiness and magic of a great song, it’s the revelation that changes and transfixes, that leaves you in truer surroundings than where you started off. More full and bold truths. And heartbreaking and sad, but common, holy suffering ones.