Song Of The Day 3/17/2015: Van Morrison - "Listen to the Lion"

Five Van Morrison Songs I Just Met: Hey, the Treble piece I wrote on Van Morrison is up. This is probably the piece I’ve worked hardest on since that time I broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Please, go have a look. Be prepared for an utter lack of snark, diametrically opposite to how I run this dump.

Meanwhile, back in our theme week: Saint Dominic’s Preview is one of the Van Morrison albums I was passively familiar with, although I probably couldn’t have quoted anything from memory except the “de-de-dede DUP, de-de-de-dede” part of “Jackie Wilson Said.” And we featured “Almost Independence Day” here just last December. It was a transitional album of sorts. It wandered a bit. You can read about it up there.

I love “Listen to the Lion” because it’s a great display of how Morrison took risks with his vocals. It starts something like five minutes in, and it’s mainly in the form of the wordless guttural grunts and moans Van uses to further the metaphor of the heart hiding a wild beast that’s about ready to lay waste to a hyena. I never realized how casually Van tested the rules of common decorum among singers in the way he went places lesser artists would be embarrassed to visit. It’s pretty liberating. If that’s how it went, I probably said lots of great things 13 years ago when I was a habitual lush. Hope one of you wrote some of it down.

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