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Van Morrison: Exile, Place & Eternal Movement – Part.1

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This post is inspired by a chapter in Peter Mills great book Hymns to the Silence: Inside the Words and Music of Van Morrison.

Some of the musicians I was working with very early on were very good, but they didn’t want to leave home, so they didn’t go any further…. but I did [want to leave home] or I felt like I had to
~Van Morrison


Wikipedia: Exile means to be away from one’s home (i.e. city, state or country), while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return. It can be a form of punishment and solitude.

Exile i a key theme in Morrison’s work & he also named his recording company ‘Exile’.

His foremost song about exile has to be “Too Long in Exile” – the title cut from his 1993 double album.

Robert Christgau – review of the album:
You know, exile — like Joyce and Shaw and Wilde and, oh yeah, Alex Haley. All on account of those “Bigtime Operators” who bugged his phone back when he was green. Now getting on to grizzled, he seeks guidance from the kas of Doc Pomus and King Pleasure and “The Lonesome Road,” an unutterably sad spiritual recast as an upbeat vibraphone feature. And especially, on three cuts, his old soulmate John Lee Hooker, who doesn’t come close to sounding overexposed on Them’s “Gloria” and Sonny Boy’s “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” and something new by Van called “Wasted Years,” about how the dumb stuff is behind them now. I don’t know about Hook, but Van’s just jiving–when he wanders “In the Forest,” it’s never a safe bet that he’ll get out. A-

 last part of the lyrics:

Too long in exile
You can never go back home again
Too long in exile
You’re about to drive me just insane

Too long in exile, been too long in exile
Just like James Joyce, baby
Too long in exile
Just like Samuel Beckett baby
Too long in exile
Just like Oscar Wilde
Too long in exile
Just like George Best, baby
Too long in exile
Just like Alex Higgins, baby

Continue reading Van Morrison: Exile, Place & Eternal Movement – Part.1