Lit Up Inside: Selected Lyrics

Lit Up Inside: Selected Lyrics

by Van Morrison

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Van Morrison is one of a handful of truly iconic twentieth century artists. Along with Bob Dylan, he was one of the first contemporary lyricists to infuse a serious poetic sensibility into popular music. A colossal influence on a wide range of fellow musicians, he has been a singular beacon of artistic integrity, soulful conviction and musical excellence.

One of


Van Morrison is one of a handful of truly iconic twentieth century artists. Along with Bob Dylan, he was one of the first contemporary lyricists to infuse a serious poetic sensibility into popular music. A colossal influence on a wide range of fellow musicians, he has been a singular beacon of artistic integrity, soulful conviction and musical excellence.

One of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time, Morrison has been following his muse in an uncompromising way since the early Sixties. He has explored soul, jazz, blues, rhythm & blues, rock and roll, Celtic folk, pop balladry and more, forging a distinctive amalgam that has Morrison’s unvarnished passion at its core. He has referred to his music as “Caledonia soul,” reflecting his deep immersion in American roots music and Ulster-Scots.

This personal selection of what Morrison himself has judged to be his most important and enduring lyrical work will stand as a landmark public statement from an otherwise intensely private artist, an intimate and very intentional view onto what Morrison himself esteems as his creative contribution.

The introduction by Eamonn Hughes, of Queen’s University, Belfast, gives a career-long overview of the creative influences Morrison has absorbed and channeled through the years, and the forewords by poet David Meltzer and novelist Ian Rankin provide an appreciation of the writer’s craft demonstrated in Morrison’s evocative, timeless lyrics.

A must for any fan, and a solid introduction to this singular, iconic talent.

"'Tupelo Honey' has always existed and Van Morrison was merely the vessel and the earthly vehicle for it."–Bob Dylan

"I know of no music that is more lucid, feelable, hearable, seeable, touchable, no music you can experience more intensely than this. Not just moments, but extended . . . periods of experience which convey the feel of what films could be: a form or perception which no longer burls itself blindly on meanings and definitions, but allows the sensuous to take over and grow . . . where indeed something does become indescribable."–Wim Wenders, filmmaker

"No other Irish poets-writing either in verse or in music--have come within a Honda's roar of Patrick Kavanagh and Van Morrison"--Paul Durcan

"If you've heard Morrison's marble gruff, it booms in your ears while reading Lit Up Inside . . . a travelogue moving out of the Emerald Isle into the arms of Socrates and Plato, Whitman and Yeats, Rembrandt and Rimbaud--Sidney Bechet, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee. Epic ballads, songs of worship, Celtic history: Lit Up Inside, a roaring jukebox of the printed page."--Raoul Hernandez, Austin Chronicle

"Irish poet W.B. Yeats once posed the question 'How can we know the dancer from the dance.' He suggested that they're inseparable. Much the same might be said about Van Morrison, the contemporary Irish musician who seems at one with his songs, though Lit Up Inside, a collection of his lyrics, provides an opportunity to be beguiled by the words and not by the singer himself. Born in Belfast in 1945 and raised on the blues, Morrison came of age when poetic young men turned to song to express love, loneliness, beauty. As John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Morrison recognized, the spoken word accompanied by a guitar rocked the world. Lit Up Inside shows that Van Morrison tells stories, creates moods and boasts the kind of romantic imagination that soars in the work of the poets he mentions in this volume, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Blake. Morrison isn't name-dropping, only sharing the literary heroes who inspired him."--Jonah Raskin, San Francisco Chronicle

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Van Morrison is renowned as a singer, songwriter, and rock artist. None of these descriptors do him justice. Very few rock and roll 'poets' would survive artistically if their songs appeared on the printed page without the music or the musical arrangements. . . . Once the reader gets over the shock of not hearing the music for these lyrics, or the brilliant arrangements that often accompany this music, a thoughtful and brilliant poet stands for all the world to see."--Dick Weissman, Portland Book Review

"The best part of the book is it immediately reconnects you with Morrison's amazing songwriting and performing talent. And who wouldn't want to know which songs mean the most to someone of the stature and fame of Morrison."--Andrea Young, "Aspenbeat"

"Lit Up Inside, a collection of Van Morrison's lyrics that the singer/songwriter specifically wanted published by City Lights and its founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti. . . . This is the only book that Morrison has ever endorsed in an official capacity. It brings together the lyrics of 100 songs from his 50-year, 40-album career. Introduction by Eamonn Hughes; foreword by David Meltzer [and Ian Rankin]."--Publishers Weekly

" . . . the combination of deep personal content and universal humanity tucked inside Morrison's songs was largely lost on me until reading the verses as a whole in Lit Up Inside (City Lights 2014), the first published collection of his lyrics, handpicked by the songwriter. It is within these songs—written in Morrison’s own Irish, romantic, soul code, with their carefully planned lines and studied notes and phrases, learned from jazz and classic blues and early rock 'n' roll—the story of Morrison’s life unfolds."--Denise Sullivan, Blurt Magazine

"The big news for devotees of Van Morrison is that he has deigned to authorize a book of his lyrics entitled Lit Up Inside to be published by City Lights. The two hundred page tome will include one-third of the lyrics Morrison has written over the course of his career.”--Robert Birnbaum, Our Man in Boston

"Music enthusiasts will finally get a glimpse into his creative consciousness with the release of Lit Up Inside, a collection of 100 lyrics curated by Morrison himself. This will be the first literary work published with Morrison's blessing. . . . Morrison chose City Lights to release the book because of the house's consistent commitment to artistic integrity, from the beat generation forward."--Paste Magazine

“One of rock's more interview-shy luminaries, Van Morrison has always preferred to let his songs speak for themselves--and they’ll do just that this fall, when he debuts Lit Up Inside,’ a collection of selected lyrics spanning his entire career."

"When a brilliant, reclusive musical icon peeks his head out to make a statement about his life's work, you can only sit up, listen and be grateful. Van Morrison has handpicked and published a collection of what he deems his best and most significant lyrics to date and maybe a glimpse at what he sees as his musical legacy. This is a wonderful re-experiencing of his music for any fan."—Joann Moreno, Madison Park Times

"Greil Marcus is not alone in believing that Van has pop music's richest and most expressive voice since Elvis Presley."–Russell Leadbetter, The Herald, Scotland

"One of the few originals left in rock."–Jon Landau, Rolling Stone

Product Details

City Lights Books
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5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

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