Thursday, 6 December 2012

The 'Meaning' of Brown Eyed Girl

The Song Meanings site is based almost entirely on reader comment.  I'd encourage any fan to click on the link and join the discussions on hundreds of Van songs or even add the ones that have been neglected.  Here's what some people had to say about Brown Eyed Girl. 

Stormy Season   -   It's about heroin addiction.
Halford Beatles Man   -   This may not be his best song ever, but it's still special to me, my girl, "the one who got away" so to speak loved this song as do I, and she was my brown eyed girl , who ever thinks that’s stupid.  It doesn't have to be deep to bring back memories of those perfect moments. I really miss my brown eyed girl.
MaryMaryQuiteContrary   -   The mind hears what it wishes to hear, I suppose. It's a beautiful song written by a very talented songwriter/musician. He's reminiscing about the good times he had with the brown eyed woman he loved and with whom he enjoyed great times. It's an INNOCENT track that some apparently wish to sully. Just wish Van had written the song about a blue eyed girl; we get no respect :)

Hit by the music   -   The song is clearly about heroin.

All Of u R Wrong   -   I can't believe it took so long to get the right meaning.  I mean I know it sounds like a love song on the surface, but, hey, all heroin inspired songs do. Yes, brown-eyed Susan is type of heroin. Yes, heroin is often personified as a girl because it interacts the same parts of the brain as sex. Also, because the withdrawal symptoms set in 12-24 hours after the last dose, the addict is compelled to do it often and thus feels as if he/she has formed a relationship with the drug. MANY lines in the song allude to smack but here are just a few - "Down in the hollow, playin a new game"[depressant in a needle, experimenting with h], "our hearts a-thumping" [makes one's blood pressure rise], "going down to the old mine" [again, "down" as in depressant, and "old mine" double meaning-vein and place to shoot up], "slipping and sliding" [trying to find a vein]. 
Ol Sloaner   -   Great song.  Catchy, upbeat, fun.   Not one of Van's most profound tunes in terms of either music or lyrics but one of his most popular and accessible.

I have a hard time with some of the raunchier interpretations but of course, even a lesser work of art is open to interpretation and each reader, viewer, listener brings his or her own experience to the activity of finding meaning. Suggesting to me, that if you think the song is about the Greek way...well.
Beatles fan 94   -   Why are some people so perverted that they interpret this song as a song about having anal  intercourse? Jeez, that's a very big stretch. It's disgusting. Brown Eyed Girl is a great song, I love it, and it's a love song about an old love between a boy and a girl. The narrator is looking back on his love with this girl, and then meets her again to see she's grown - as we all do. It's beautiful and it makes me sad that people think so many disgusting things about such a beautiful thing.

North Write   -   Weddings, stupid city summer festival variety bands and high school dances have RUINED this song for me. They play it every single time and it drives be back towards the cash bar every time it comes on. That said, my 5-year-old daughter LOVES this song because she's the only one of my kids with brown eyes. So now reading some of these responses have ruined the song even more because she loves it so much.  Into The Mystic is Van's best song, IMO.

Mmmmmm   -   I absolutely love this song. It's always been a favourite of mine, especially since I have brown eyes. However, to be completely honest, I believe this song is about some form of drugs. If I'm not mistaken, isn't some form of heroin from poppies? Poppies being Brown-Eyed Susans. Brown-Eyed Susans being Brown-Eyed GIRLS since Susan is a girl's name. If you listen to the lyrics, they are down in a hollow, a mine, behind the bleachers... And to top it off they are skipping and running. I could be completely wrong and it could be about young love, but I don't think Van Morrison is as shallow as that and I think there's a deeper meaning. OR it could just be written like this to make people wonder and interpret the lyrics for themselves.

journey head 4ever   -   Jimmy Buffett covered this song back in '83 on his One Particular Harbor album and made slight changes to the lyrics. So the lyrics submitted here aren't exactly wrong, just a different version. Just in case anybody got confused as to why they are the way they are. I'm just glad they didn’t post the 'radio edit' version lol. Kickass song btw, reminds me of this brown eyed cutie I got a crush on from my school. It’s really just about teenage lust and romance.

Billcot   -  The first time I heard this song I thought it was about a Dad reminiscing about the times with his brown-eyed daughter when she was little and when they would play while all alone, and he could just enjoy himself without anyone around judging him. Then I heard the line making love in the green grass and it ruined the interpretation lol. Now I think it’s about a teenage relationship and they intimate things he would do with his brown-eyed girl when they were alone.

Royal girl 296121   -   I love this song!  My dad told me it was about a guy talking to his ex-girlfriend about what they used to have.  But the line "and my how have you grown" suggests that the girl is now pregnant.  My dad said she was pregnant with his baby but I don't know.

Brown Eyed Girl   -   This song is simple and innocent and perfect. It just makes me happy, sure it may have some innuendos that people feel the need to pick up on, but seriously, can't you just let it be about innocent love? It’s beautiful and one of my favourite songs :)
Bleed the colours open   -   This is a brilliant song. It reminds me of being like six years old, because I didn't know much better than to listen to my dad's music.

The Mystery   -   This song rocks no matter what anyone else's special to people and it makes people a little bit happier....most people can't help but smile when they hear this song come on....

Tamova22   -   this song is extremely special to me...last year my father died of a heart problem and this was his favourite all time song. We played this at his funeral and just reminded us so much of him. if it comes on without me knowing I’ll get upset but then I think 'hey...this is dads song!' yes everyone has their own opinions...but I really don’t think people should say such mean things about van Morrison...he is a great song writer!

Vasnmo Go   -   The three most sustained attack on the realist tradition in 20th century. James Joyce in literature, Samuel Beckett in theatre and Van Morrison in popular music.  All Irish, and the 3 chef d'oeuvre, Ulysses, Waiting for Godot and Astral Weeks, rejected and neglected on first appearance.

Omg_shoes   -   This song is about an old love that he's possibly still in love with.  It may be true that the majority of people have brown eyes, but in certain parts of the world, brown eyes can be less common, like in northern Europe... Even in the United States, there's variation. There are several purely Italian towns where my family lives, and there are some Dutch ones too.

Xelion   -   Although everyone is entitled to their "opinion”. The facts are clearly stated in an interview done with VM he stated that the song was originally entitled Brown-Skinned Girl but was changed to Brown-Eyed Girl to accommodate AM programmers. Interracial relationships in the 60's were definitely a taboo subject.

Vasnmo Go   -   Yes Burt Berns was great for Van the Man.  But Van then went on to the truly original Madame George .
BazBear   -   Bert Berns was one of the great rock and soul songwriters of the 1960s, as well as being a producer of note. He worked in the studio with the Drifters, Ben E. King, the Isley Brothers, and Solomon Burke. He wrote or co-wrote a raft of classics, including "Twist and Shout," the Drifters' "I Don't Want to Go On Without You," Burke's "Cry to Me" and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," Garnet Mimms' "Cry Baby" and "It Was Easier to Hurt Her," and "Hang on Sloopy." By the mid-'60s, he was proving adaptable to changing trends in white rock too, successfully collaborating with Lulu, Them, and Neil Diamond. With executives of Atlantic Records, he founded the Bang! label, which had hits with the McCoys, the Strangeloves, Diamond, and Van Morrison before Berns' death at the end of 1967.

Libertine1   -   I understand what all you people are saying about everyone else not giving much thought to the lyrics - I hate it when other people do that, myself - but I think that a song can basically mean what you want it to mean or it can bring back memories of happy times, etc. - for me, it will always remind me of being a young girl. I have brown eyes and my dad used to sing it to me all the time, so I think of him every time I hear it.

Dig it all love   -   I hate that edit that you always hear where instead of playing "making love in the green grass" they replay the "laughin' and a-runnin yeah" line.

Red   -   Van Morrison is my favourite artist. I love him to a level of pure obsession. This song is beautiful, but not one of his best. But...I guess I love it in the same way that I love "night moves" by Bob Segar. It just reminds me of purely blissful and enjoyable moments that almost everyone experiences in their teenage years.

Erock   -   This is Vans greatest songs! He made a lot of good songs but this one was the best! A good shore song.

VAN THE MAN   -   He was in love with a sweet little thing from high school and they had some play time in the grass -- that's all it means!

Think4URself   -   Brown Eyed Girl is merely a pop song that surely doesn't define Morrison as a singer/songwriter/musician. For those who are interested in Morrison's extreme talent listen to Sweet Thing as musikfreak mentioned. Into the Mystic, Tupelo Honey, Warm Love, anything from Astral Weeks. There are far too many to list, but please don't stop at Brown Eyed Girl. Morrison's brilliance has been downplayed for years. He's a genius.

BazBear   -   As to Morrison's genius, I won't argue; most of it's just not to my tastes. But the genius certainly shines (to me) the most through his popular work. True, it's just a simple pop/rock love song; but the lyrics; the phrasing; the beautiful lead/rythym guitar (and instrumentation in general...who produced this?). One of the all-time greatest pop-crossover-classic rock tunes IMO.

John inky   -   What a load of old bollocks!! It's a song about teenage lust and trying to get your girl behind the bike shed or in the long grass...remember when Van wrote this!!

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