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Saturday, 19 April 2014

London Monopoly (23): Liverpool Street Station

Only two more London Monopoly Board posts after this one!
Exterior of Main entrance to Liverpool Street Station, London
The Railway Station
Liverpool Street station is one of the many central London railway termini. Located in the north-eastern corner of the City of London, it is the terminus for the West Anglia line to Cambridge and the much busier Great East Anglia main line to Norwich as well as many local commuter services to parts of east London, Essex and Hertfordshire and the Stansted Express, a fast link to London Stansted airport. There has been a station on the site since 1840 and the current building was greatly modernised in 1993. Liverpool Street was built as a dual-level station with an underground station opened in 1875.    In World War One the station was the target of one of the first-ever daylight bombing raids by fixed-wing aircraft. The deadly German attack killed 162 people.
The busy interior of Liverpool Street Station
The Wonderful Story of the Kindertransport
In Nazi Germany in 1938  the infamous Kristallnacht took place In the build-up to World War two. On that night swarms of SA Paramilitary forces destroyed thousands of Jewish homes, businesses and Synagogues in Germany and Austria. 30,000 people were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Meanwhile non-Jewish civilians and German authorities looked on without intervening. Shock waves reverberated around the world. The Times of London wrote: "No foreign propagandist bent upon blackening Germany before the world could outdo the tale of burnings and beatings, of blackguardly assaults on defenceless and innocent people, which disgraced that country yesterday."
A delegation of British Jewish and Quaker leaders approached the UK Government who agreed to allow unaccompanied children to come to the UK as refugees. This was the start of the Kindertransport. In all 10,000 children, who would otherwise surely have perished in the Holocaust, came to the UK and were fostered here. Their arrival-point in London was Liverpool Street Station where there is a moving memorial to them. 2,000 of the children remained in England after the war and became valued members of society. Many of them joined the British Armed Forces. Four of them became Nobel prize-winners.
Frank Meisser's bronze memorial sculpture
www.warmemorialphotos.co.uk
My next post will be my 200th and I will be creating a review of my favourite posts over the last four years.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Painting of the Month (44) April 2014: Alma-Tadema

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836 -1912),  A Roman Art Lover
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a controversial Anglo-Dutch Victorian painter. He was born in the Netherlands and settled in England in 1870 and spent the rest of his life here. To me he is an odd mix of the sublime and the faintly ridiculous. He drastically fell out of favour soon after his death in 1912 and after the First World War there was a sea-change in the Arts with the rise of Modernism, which was characterised by Freudian theory, philosophy, industrialisation and political theory - a complete break with past.
Alma-Tadema's subjects were based on Classical Antiquity in a kind of super-realism. Since the 1960s his importance to Victorian painting has been re-evaluated and his reputation somewhat restored. The important thing to rememberis that, of course, the paintings didn't change; just the 'expert's' opinions of them. So the lesson from that is - don't be afraid to like what you like, unfashionable or not!
Whatever one may think of these pictures, the fact which cannot be denied is his great photo-like technical ability.
Anacreon Reading His Poems at Lesbia's House 
Selfie of the artist
Kiss
.





Thursday, 27 March 2014

Albeniz: Cadiz


Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual 
Hardly flamboyant at all!

Isaac Albeniz, 1860 -1909, was a virtuoso Spanish pianist and composer. I love his music which never fails to put me in a good mood so I hope, if you spare a few minutes to listen, that you will get that same pleasure! I have put links to some of his works at the end of this post. Although he never composed explicitly for the guitar much of his work has been successfully transposed for that instrument and some of his compositions are better known these days as guitar works. I am thinking principally of pieces such as Asturias.
He is most famous for the Suite Española  and his other suite Iberia, both of which are based on specific styles of regional Spanish folk music. The Suite Española consists of eight pieces of which my favourites are Granada and Cadiz. Both of these have been transposed into fabulous guitar versions. Here are links to piano and guitar versions of both:
During the Segovia piece you will see a photographic selection of locations in Granada, Spain starting with the Alhambra Palace, a truly magical place in a beautiful city. I don't suppose I'll ever get there again but I've got the music forever.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

London Monopoly (22): Bond Street

I am now on the home straight of my tour around the London Monopoly board and the real estate values are rising sky-high! Bond Street is the final property of the Green Set.
Bond Street by James Gilray 1796
Fashionable 'gentlemen' are forcing ladies to step into the road as they crowd the pavement (sidewalk). Gilray is also satirising the female fashion of wearing vertical feathers on their hats.

Bond Street is one of the world's most expensive retail locations on a par with Fifth Avenue, New York and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris. It is divided into New Bond Street and Old Bond Street in the southern half  but is effectively all one street. The auction house Sotheby's has been located there for over a century and at one time Bond Street was synonymous with art dealers and antique shops but, inevitably, high-fashion boutiques now dominate. This makes it a lot less interesting. Something of note is a sculpture of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt sitting on a park bench. Tourists are fond of sitting between the two while having their photo taken.
"The statue, which is named ‘Allies’, was created in 1995 by Lawrence Holofcener, an artist with dual nationality who was commissioned by the Bond Street Association to commemorate 50 years of peace in the area. It features life-like bronze statues of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, with their faces crafted into permanent smiles as they share a silent joke." www.mayfair-london.co.uk
Bond Street is named for Sir Thomas Bond 1620–1685. head of the syndicate which developed the area although the street as it is now was founded in 1700. The most famous residents were probably Admiral Horatio Nelson and Lady Hamilton.
A typical Bond Street store front.
Coming next in this series:Liverpool Street Station with a wonderful story from before the Second World War. 

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Painting of the Month (43) March 2014: Lebasque


The Blue Robe (1920)


Henri Lebasque (1865 – 1937) was a French post-impressionist painter and a friend of Henri Matisse. Perhaps not technically brilliant but I like his colourful scenes of the times he lived in. He painted several pictures featuring views through open windows which was a popular genre at the time.
See, for example 'Open window at Collioure' by Matisse (left) and the painting by Raoul Dufy (below). Lebasque painted mainly female figures often in a domestic or rural setting and, as was the fashion at the beginning of the twentieth century, a great colourist. Yellow and purple are on opposite sides of the colour wheel and bring out the best in each other as can be seen here in the contrast between the yellow fields and the purple of the distant hills and the curtains. What is surprisingly common in art is the back view of the female subject; there are many examples of this in the history of art.
Click here to see a whole collection of such views. Although there is more detail in the foreground of this painting, the composition leads the eye to where the woman appears to be looking - out of the window.


Monday, 17 February 2014

London Monopoly (21): Oxford Street

A further stop in my journey around the London Monopoly board.
Selfridge's, Oxford Street, London. Opened in 1909.
At one and a half miles long Oxford Street is Europe's busiest shopping street. For the main part it is full of all the multinational and international stores that most UK High Street's will have; the big names cannot afford not to be there. This makes it rather unremarkable in some ways. Toward the eastern end at the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road there are the relatively smaller stores with a few independents and nearer to the western end at Marble Arch, near one corner of Hyde Park there is, for me, the saving grace of Oxford Street - the department stores. Personally I think Selfridge's is the best of these.
It is rather underrated but I prefer it to Harrod's. Somehow the staff seem to be less under pressure and are more pleasant and there is an excellent bookshop.
Oxford Street is only open to taxicabs and buses and no other private or commercial vehicles during the day.
Oxford Street is known to have existed for at least two thousands years but not under that name of course. The Romans called it Via Trinobantina and it formed part of the route into London from the south-west (Hampshire) and out to the north-east (Colchester in Essex). It was the route that condemned prisoners were taken by from Newgate (now the Old Bailey Criminal Court) to Tyburn to be hanged (now Marble Arch). Incidentally people are hanged whereas pictures are hung!
Oxford Street after a heavy German bombing raid in April 1943 (Getty Images)
Oxford Street today
At the halfway point is Oxford Circus, which is where Regent Street crosses Oxford Street. It features something unique for London - diagonal pedestrian crossings.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Painting of the Month (42) February 2014: Van Gogh

This is an iconic image by one of the most revered artists of all time - Vincent Van Gogh. At first glance you may think there's not much to it but come closer and Bazza will enlighten you.....
Wheat Field Under Threatening Skies also known as Wheat Field with Crows.
 Painted in July1890, the month in which he died, by Vincent Van Gogh.
Many people would recognise this as Van Gogh's work even if they had never seen it before. The thickly applied paint, individual brush-strokes and subject matter are all typical of his art. It is thought that this may have been the last picture he ever painted but it was not; it was certainly one of the last few. It is well known that he suffered with mental instability for much of his life and it is easy to define turbulence and impending doom in this picture. In which direction are the crows flying? It's hard to say, isn't it? Look closely at the central path which leads one into the painting. Where is is it going? It's going nowhere; it doesn't disappear so much as stop. Dead. This is a subject that would usually be enriching and uplifting but Vincent has managed to convey his chaotic state of mind. He took his own life shortly afterwards. In a way it is like looking into another person's thought processes and yet it is 'only' a landscape painting. I find that fact incredible.
The impending summer storm depicted here has sometimes been interpreted as Vincent's suicide note but, of course, all interpretation of art is very subjective.
This was one of a series of wheatfield paintings that Van Gogh made in this unusual elongated format 50cm by 100cm.
Footnote: Americans usually pronounce his surname as 'Van Go', Britons as 'Van Goff' and the Dutch (who should know best) sound like they are filling their mouth with phlegm when they pronounce his name!
I promise that my next post will be something more cheerful!

Friday, 31 January 2014

Macbeth

Macbeth or, in Gaelic, Mac Bethad, was King of Alba (Scotland) from 1040 to 1057 so he died almost a thousand years ago. Although this post is about William Shakespeare's play it is important to know that (1) Macbeth was a real person and (2) the play is, historically, very inaccurate.
Kenneth Branagh as Macbeth


A brief description of the background to this play is important and relevant. King James VI of Scotland became James I of England and Scotland when the two nations were united in 1603 and William Shakespeare's company of players wisely became known as The King's Men instead of the The Queen's Men. They depended upon a certain amount of Royal patronage so when Macbeth was written, probably in 1606, it was natural that he wanted to please the new King.
James was known to have been a believer in Witchcraft and had actually written a book on the subject. Our William was rather clever in making the witches central to the Macbeth's tragedy. You are probably aware of the famous opening scene with the three witches. Click here to view that opening scene. The witches occur at intervals throughout the play.
Here is a brief synopsis of the plot: At the outset of the play Macbeth and Banquo are shown as heroic generals who have bravely helped Scotland defeat two invading armies. When the witches predict that Macbeth will be King he is sceptical until the King promotes him to a high rank (Thane of Cawdor) so he begins to believe the prediction. The themes that develop are deception and the destructive power of unchecked ambition (through hallucinations and 'blood'). When King Duncan comes to stay at Macbeth's castle in Inverness Lady Macbeth (the original femme fatale?) persuades him to murder the King, which he does. He then decides that his friend Banquo is a rival so he kills him too.
However, at a feast hosted by the newly-crowned Macbeths, Banquo's ghost appears at the dinner table and Macbeth begins to loose his mind. He is eventually killed by MacDuff, whose family Macbeth has also had murdered.
Shakespeare's genius shows in his psychological insight (before psychology existed!) such as this scene where, on his way to murder King Duncan, Macbeth hallucinates about a dagger, "Is this a dagger I see before me?", brilliantly played by Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard of Star Trek if you prefer). This speech is a superb example of Shakespeare's craft and, in this clip, I especially love the menace evoked by the wonderful background music that hovers behind Macbeth's soliloquy.
It is often not appreciated how much the English language owes to the creations of William Shakespeare. Here are just a few quotes that originated in The Tragedy of Macbeth.

"Fair is foul and foul is fair"
   - The witches indicating that all is not as it seems in life.
"Nothing in his life became him like the leaving it"
   - Malcolm's description of Macbeth's slaying of the traitor Macdonwald.
"Yet I do fear thy nature; it is too full of the milk of human kindness"
  - Lady Macbeth fearing that her husband isn't evil enough!
"Double,double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble."
And
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."
   - The witches awaiting the arrival of Macbeth.
"Out damned spot!, out I say!"
  - Lady Macbeth referring to blood on her clothing, while she is sleep-walking.
"She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day 
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools 
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage 
And then is heard no more: it is a tale 
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."
  - Macbeth on hearing of the death of his wife.
Macbeth: "If we should fail?"
Lady Macbeth: "We fail.But screw your courage to the sticking-place and we'll not fail."

Finally, my favourite part of the play (and there are many contenders) is this:
Macbeth has asked the witches if all of their predictions will come true, will no-one defeat him? and they tell him:
"Macbeth shall never vanquished be until
Great Burnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill
Shall come against him."and
"No man of woman born shall harm Macbeth." 
Burham Wood is a small forest about five miles from Dunsinane Hill where Macbeth's castle is situated.
Naturally Macbeth is pleased to hear this declaring that his overthrow "can never be"
However when an English army of 10,000 men advances on Macbeth in support of the legitimate Scottish King, their general tells them to cut branches from the trees in the wood to camouflage themselves.
So, when a servant informs Macbeth that Burnham Wood is advancing on the castle, Macbeth becomes even more unhinged (well, wouldn't you?)
And at the end of the play when Macbeth is fighting MacDuff, he still believes himself to be invincible because "no man of woman born" can harm him.
But he is then in informed by MacDuff that he was "ripped from his mother's womb" (ie: came into the world by Caesarean section).....oops!
MacDuff kills Macbeth

If you would like to see a BBC production of the play click here


Thursday, 23 January 2014

My Heroes (38): Django Reinhardt

It's been too long since I posted a new item in the self-indulgent My Hero series. But if one can't be self-indulgent on one's own Blog, then where?
Jean "Django" Reinhardt 1910-1953
Django Reinhardt led a colourful and romantic life. He was born in Belgium into a Romani (Gypsy) family and remained immersed in that culture all of his life. His father had changed the family name on his birth certificate from Weiss in order to avoid military conscription
He is regarded as the first European musician to make an important contribution to the world of jazz music. He formed the Quintette du Hot Club de France with the violinist Stephan Grapelli in 1934 and is considered to have been one of the greatest guitar players who ever lived.
Amazingly two of the fingers of his left hand were paralysed after a fire in the caravan he shared with his then wife at the age of 18! He re-learned his playing technique after the injury and was able to make use of those fingers in chord playing but not in solos thereafter.
I always find joy listening to his music; its so full of energy and the deceptively casual playing could only be the work of an absolute master.
Django was greatly influenced by American jazz records that he heard and referred to Louis Armstrong as "my brother". He was also one of the first people in France to recognise the brilliance of Charlie Parker and Dizzie Gillespie.
He died of a brain haemorrhage at the early age of 43. 
I have a link to a great selection of his music below: Enjoy!
The Quintette du Hot Club de France
In this line up they were unsual in being an all-strings jazz band
Click here for Bouncin' Around
Click here for Minor Swing
Click here for Body And Soul

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Pam Ayers, writer of comic verse

Pam Ayers is a quintessentially English writer of comic verse who, because she speaks with a lovely Oxfordshire accent and is sometimes thought of as a 'corny' comedienne is, to my mind, often under-rated. But I think that she is a gifted writer of comic verse. I don't know if she is much known outside of the UK which would be a pity. Here is one of her typical verses. You can hear her reading one of her poems in the link at the end of this post. I recommend it.

I'M GOING TO KILL MY HUSBAND  by Pam Ayres

I am going to kill my husband, I have stuck all I can stick,
His constant criticising is getting on my wick.
He takes it all for granted, but tonight I can relax,
For the minute he complains, I shall whop him with the axe.

Yes, I’m going to kill my husband, I shall have him to be sure,
He’s never going to curse my navigation any more.
I drive him to distraction when I read a map, I know,
But tonight I’m going to drive him where he didn’t plan to go.

So when he starts haranguing me till I’m a nervous wreck,
Shouts and spits and rages till the veins swell in his neck.
As he grabs the map from me there’ll be no turning back,
I will calmly reach behind me and I’ll whop him with the jack.

I mean, he gets a cold and I’m supposed to sympathise,
And his sneezes shake the rafters and tears roll from his eyes.
He looks so woebegone, just like the back end of a bus,
And yet when I am ill he’ll tell me not to make a fuss.

It’s true, he’s got to go, you may not think I’ve got the right,
But he snores you see and I should know, I’m with him every night.
With a horrifying steady rhythm, whistle, snore and snort,
Well tonight he’s going to stay asleep for longer than he thought.

“Your honour, I confess, that with a satisfying thwack,
I hit him with the frying pan from seven paces back.”
The weapon was examined by the jury good and true,
It was all made up of women, and they all said,”After you!”

Click here for a wonderful, hilarious reading by Pam Ayres



Saturday, 11 January 2014

Painting of the Month (41) January 2014: Gericault

The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault 1791-1824
(Completed 1819, oil on canvas, approx 16 x 23 feet) 



This painting is possibly more interesting for it's non-art elements than for the art work itself. In 1818 Théodore Géricault was a young man trying to build an artistic reputation but the innovation of this work is that it depicted a recent, true event.

'History painting' is a genre in art that was dominant from the sixteenth century. It was intended to have moral or didactic overtones and usually depicted stories from the Bible, mythology or literature. It was only history in the sense of having a story or narrative and usually depicts a certain single point from that narrative. These paintings were often very large and this one is on a larger-than-life scale. It was viewed as the most important genre at that time and seen as the pinnacle of an artist's career.

In 1816 the French frigate Méduse ran aground off the coast of Senegal. The story that followed was one of 15 survivors left on a hurriedly constructed raft after 13 days at sea experiencing starvation, dehydration and....cannibalism. There was political outrage because an inexperienced captain had been appointed through his good connections rather than his skill.

Géricault had conducted extensive research before starting to paint and had visited morgues to get the decaying flesh tones right. His scheme worked and the controversial first showing of this painting in Paris catapulted him to fame and it was soon shown in London with similar success. It greatly divided the critics some of whom did not want to be 'repelled' by a 'heap of bodies' and thought that this could not be art.

On the other hand he was praised (by others) for showing a negro at the focal point of the picture. The triangular composition raising upwards to the right indicating the hopes of the survivors as a distant ship is seen on the horizon. The ship didn't see them and passed by. I think I can just make out a tiny point on the horizon. Earlier studies for the painting do clearly show a large vessel .
There were ten survivors from the Méduse. Géricault died five years later at the young age of 32. His painting lives on as an icon of French Romanticism. 
You can just about see the ship on the horizon in this detail.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Phil Everly 1939-2014

The death last night of Phil Everly, the younger of the Everly Brothers duo, truly is the end of an era. The importance of their influence on the world of popular music is impossible to overstate. Pop, rock, folk and country music in general owe a huge debt to them and The Beach Boys and The Beatles in particular have both acknowledged the inspiration they received.
Phil Everly: Born January 19th 1939, died January 3rd 2014
Linda Ronstadt, said: "They had that sibling sound. The information of your DNA is carried in your voice, and you can get a sound with family that you never get with someone who's not blood-related to you. And they were both such good singers -- they were one of the foundations, one of the cornerstones of the new rock 'n' roll sound."
They had such perfect close harmony that their live performances were a delight. I saw them on stage several times, most notably their 'Reunion Concert' at The Royal Albert Hall in London in 1983. I was the only person in the audience whom I had never heard of; talk about star-studded! They retained their popularity much longer in the UK than in the USA and were frequent visitors here.
They spent their early years growing up in Shenandoah, Iowa where their parents had a musical show on the radio so Don and Phil started to learn their craft from an early age.
There are some relevant links at the end of this post.
The Everly Brothers with Buddy Holly
Their many hits include:
Bye Bye Love; All I Have to Do Is Dream; Wake Up Little Susie; Poor Jenny; Take a Message to Mary; Bird Dog;  When Will I be Loved; 'Til I Kissed You; Let It Be Me; Like Strangers; Cathy's Clown; So It Was, So It Is, So It Always Will Be; So Sad/Lucille; Walk Right Back; That's Old-Fashioned; Ebony Eyes; Temptation; Don't Blame Me; Crying In The Rain; The Price of Love; No One Can Make My Sunshine Smile; On the Wings of a Nightingale. There are many more.....
Of course our loss is as nothing compared to that of Phil's family and friends. His brother Don was reported as being unable to speak about it. Although they had a famous ten-year split, Phil once said that they were closer than most brothers are. Their lack of ego and show-biz behaviour coupled with their homely charm says a lot about them.
Don and Phil.....thank you.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

London Monopoly (20): Regent Street

Continuing my journey around the London version of the Monopoly board with Regent Street, the first property in the Green Set.
The beautiful curve of Regent Street seen as you enter from Piccadilly Circus, London
Every one of the buildings in Regent Street is at least Grade II listed. This means that for Historical or Architectural interest no building can be altered or demolished without permission - which is usually not obtainable. Sometimes only the façade is protected and internal alterations can be made.
The street is one of the first examples of Town Planning as it cuts a swathe through the otherwise straight streets of the West One (W1) postcode. After the Great Fire of London, in 1666, there was a move to plan the reconstruction of the medieval city but it took one hundred and fifty years before this first attempt took place!
Named after the Prince Regent (later George IV) it was laid out by the great architect John Nash and completed in 1825. Now it is a high prestige shopping and business street in one of the most expensive parts of London.
Hamley's Toy Shop, Regent Street, London
Hamley's,who style themselves
as "the world's most famous toy shop", have been in Regent Street since 1881 but were established in High Holborn, London in 1760 and there is a large Apple Store there too.
Regent Street is halfway through a 20 year £1 billion investment scheme and is continuously being improved and upgraded. 
With 2 km of shop-fronts it rivals Fifth Avenue and the Champs Elysée for high prestige shopping.
Just as in the game of Monopoly, the rents in Regent Street are incredibly high.
The Apple Store, Regent Street, London
Wishing everyone who visits this site(about 100 unique visitors per day) a peaceful and preposterous (sic) 2014.


Saturday, 14 December 2013

Painting of the Month (40) Dec 2013: Grayson Perry

OK, so it's not a painting exactly but.....
JANE AUSTEN IN E17, GRAYSON PERRY(2009), MANCHESTER ART GALLERY 
This is a decorated vase made by the British artist Grayson Perry who, regrettably, is more well-known for his cross-dressing than for his art. It is titled 'Jane Austen in E17'. E17 is the first part of the unfashionable north-east London postcode of the artist's studio.

Perry will often juxtapose discordant themes and ideas and this example is typical. Obviously it is beautiful and appealing to the eye with it's depiction of genteel and elegant late eighteenth-century ladies carved into a Chinese style vase. However, a closer inspection will reveal the use of photo-printed images behind the ladies depicting contemporary violence in the local area of his studio.
DETAIL FROM THE ABOVE WORK
The artist himself is a very interesting character. He is a married family man from the English county of Essex (same as me!) who has created an alter ego personality named Clare who is sometimes depicted in his artwork and provides a way for him to express certain facets of his life and personal history. Perry says that his female identity matches his low self-esteem because women are often seen as 'second-class' and so are potters, his chosen medium as an artist. Born in 1960, he came to public awareness after winning the important Turner prize in 2003 and this year (2013) he delivered the prestigious BBC Reith lecture series which was hugely enjoyable; he is a very open, honest and funny man. Definitely 'first class'!

GRAYSON PERRY

GRAYSON'S ALTER EGO 'CLARE'

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Sweet Thing

Another re-post from exactly three years ago. The years have not dimmed my love of this music......

Van Morrison: Sweet Thing

http://www.last.fm/
Sweet Thing
(Click on the above to listen. Open another window if you want to listen and follow the lyrics!))
And I will stroll the merry way
And jump the hedges first
And I will drink the clear
Clean water for to quench my thirst
And I shall watch the ferry-boats
And they'll get high
On a bluer ocean
Against tomorrow's sky
And I will never grow so old again
And I will walk and talk
In gardens all wet with rain 
Oh sweet thing, sweet thing
My, my, my, my, my sweet thing

And I shall drive my chariot
Down your streets and cry
'Hey, it's me, I'm dynamite
And I don't know why'
And you shall take me strongly
In your arms again
And I will not remember
That I ever felt the pain.
We shall walk and talk
In gardens all misty and wet with rain
And I will never, never, never
Grow so old again. 
Oh sweet thing, sweet thing
My, my, my, my, my sweet thing

And I will raise my hand up
Into the night time sky
And count the stars
That's shining in your eye
Just to dig it all an' not to wonder
That's just fine
And I'll be satisfied
Not to read in between the lines
And we will walk and talk
In gardens all wet with rain
And I will never, ever, ever, ever
Grow so old again.
Oh sweet thing, sweet thing
Sugar-baby with your champagne eyes
And your saint-like smile....

Lyrics like poetry.......
"And you shall take me strongly
In your arms again
And I will not remember
That I ever felt the pain"


Van Morrison has a reputation as a grumpy old curmudgeon but with a body of work like he has nobody could seriously doubt his commitment to his art. Ever the contrary one, he say's 'it's just a job'! If you still doubt my word listen to 'Into The Mystic'.