Friday, October 12, 2012

"Everything has to be earned"

Mark Judge writes about "Van Morrison’s Transcendent Music": an appreciation of Morrison's music on the occasion of the release of his newest album, Born To Sing: No Plan B:
.... Critics often express astonishment that Morrison, 67, is still producing great music. But the reasons are not hard to understand: first, Morrison long ago stopped being a pop songwriter—if in fact he ever was one—and became a jazz musician. And second, Morrison never lost his belief in, curiosity of, and striving for God. These two things are what keeps his music creative, honest, and fresh, even as it is grounded in the transcendent. ....

.... “If in money we trust,” he sings in a song with the same title, “then where’s God?” Morrison has always had a foot in the timeless idioms of jazz and the blues, but by this point he is so immersed in them that it would be an error to call him a rock-and-roll singer. Born to Sing is a jazz album, plain and simple. ....

On Born to Sing Morrison’s disappointment seems topical and on target, a needed corrective to a western world that increasingly finds itself worshiping material things. While he specifically cites capitalism in his criticism, Morrison seems to indicate that it is not the free market system he objects to, but how its extremes can distort human purpose and love. In “End of the Rainbow” he describes the recessionary world of the last few years:
No pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
No social ladder to climb around here
No panhandlers gonna stake any claim here . . .
No gravy train that stops at your station
Everything has to be earned
Van Morrison’s Transcendent Music « Acculturated