Song Of The Day 3/18/2015: Van Morrison - "Cul De Sac"

Five Van Morrison Songs I Just Met: So, in the Van Morrison listening marathon I did over the last couple of weeks (the results of which you can read all about right here) the album that I did the big 180-degree thing with was Veedon Fleece. This was one of the albums I snapped up when I was finishing my Van Morrison collection on CD all those years ago and listened to once. Back then I had the attention span of pasteurized cheese product and didn’t know what I had. After last week, though, it vaulted way up there, virtually tied now with Moondance for my second favorite Van album. In fact now I’m not even sure I’m all the nuts about Moondance, but it’s too late. The tweets have gone out.

Anyway, Veedon Fleece could be described as either a sequel to or flipside of Astral Weeks, although I’m sure that’s nothing close to how Van Morrison conceived it. It’s replete with allusions to Ireland and Northern Ireland, reinvigorating the naturalism and customs of the isle and using them to chart a sort of free-moving path of personal discovery. It sounds lamer when I write it out like that. Thankfully, there’s an excellent recent piece about Van Morrison’s catalog that says it beautifully!

There were a bunch of songs from Veedon Fleece that were reawakening experiences for me. “Linden Arden Stole the Highlights” and “Who Was That Masked Man” are a couple of moving contemplations on the immigrant experience in America. “Bulbs” should have been huge on FM radio at the time. But the song that caught me most was “Cul De Sac,” a meditation on the bargaining between age and memory, the compulsion towards dormitory existence as the pages of our lives get heavier to lift. It did not have a 12" dance version.

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