“And as I sat beside you,
I felt the great sadness that day,
In the garden.”
Whenever I visit home, the first voice I hear is Van Morrison’s. Not because he’s lodging there, but simply because my mum is continually playing his music. And has been for as long as I can remember (which is about age 6 – how come some folk can remember when they were 2? – seems unlikely – anyhoo …).
Now, when you’re young, of course, you can’t possibly like anything your parents recommend. Uh-huh. So there was certainly no Van the Man in my record collection. But then, there didn’t need to be as he was everywhere else around the house. And everywhere beyond too. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a car journey with my parents without Van Morrison playing. And when you’re a kid and traveling for hours to Wales on holiday, that’s some test of endurance. “Pleeease can we listen to the Bruno Brookes Chart Show?” “No son, they don’t have radio in Wales.”
These days, I have seen the error of my ways and am always amused when I pick up a Van album in a sale and know every song from those car rides. I even went to see him perform the classic ‘Astral Weeks’ with my parents last year – which I think pleased them more than anything else I’ve ever done in my life. But what I most like is that every time I hear Van Morrison’s voice (on the radio, in a pub or wherever), I think of home.
Van Morrison – In The Garden - 2007 Re-mastered
(This is one of my mum’s favourites.)