Saturday, 26 January 2013

From Songfacts: Have I Told You Lately

From the great Songfacts site we have comments by people all over the world about this song.  The first comments are general ones from Songfacts with no writer indicated.  Songfacts has been mentioned on this blog before and is a must for anyone looking for extra information and listener opinions about songs.   
Songfacts   -   This song is widely considered to be about Van Morrison's relationship with God and religious convictions. In a 2009 Q&A in Time magazine, Morrison said, "Religion is a kind of word game. It's whatever it means to those individuals who are following that belief system. If you say something has got spirit or "I feel the spirit," to me, that would be more appropriate - spirit in the Aristotelian sense, that the mind and body and spirit are one thing. Which is different from religion."
Songfacts   -   Rod Stewart performed this on his MTV Unplugged special in 1993 and released this acoustic version on his album Unplugged... And Seated.  This version was a big hit, going to #5 in both the US and UK.

Songfacts   -   There is a Country song from the '40s called "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You," which was recorded by Elvis Presley, Gene Autry, Bing Crosby and Ray Price, but that's a completely different song. That one was written by Scotty Wiseman.
Songfacts   -   Morrison recorded this song with The Chieftains in 1995. This version appeared on the group's album The Long Black Veil and earned a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

Reader Comments

DJ (Manchester)   -   Words and meaning are totally different. Even if the music was a bit similar in melody, not sure I'm not that old..I'm sure Van brought it into his own and embellished on top of that.  All of Van's music Rocks and this ballad takes the cake.

Darren (Arizona)   -   Great song. First heard it on the beach down south in '89. Good times.

Elizabeth (Georgia)   -   This song is actually titled "Have I Told You Lately" and should not be confused with the Scotty Wiseman song "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?", released in 1945.
Carl (Manchester)   -   Me and a mate are in disagreement about this record. I'm a Rod fan and hes a Van fan.The thing is when Rods version was out it was said that it was the most played record on American radio, at the time . My mate wont accept this.

Malachi (Dublin)   -   Poor, guy. Why is he always so heavily criticised? I'm a forever fan! None of this nonsense could sway me in the least! He is an amazing artist and that's all I need to know. His personal life is his business. I don't want to speculate about his thoughts as he writes his lyrics. Why should you? Leave the man alone and just enjoy his music--I say!

Daniel (Pretoria)   -   Hi you guys, I don't think you have heard Elvis's version of the song it is still the best. Better than all the rest and I have heard all of them. But I am still confuse - how actually wrote the song - because on the Wikipedia it seems like it was done in the 1930's by Scotty Wiseman and belief me it is identical. O! yes even Jim Reeves does a good job of it.
Ellen (New Hampshire)   -   Two different songs with the same title. If you research a little further the lyrics are different. The one by Scotty Wiseman Was a country song. It was the greatest hit of Wiseman and his wife and one of the first country music songs to attract major attention in the pop music field. Recorded by many artists including Gene Autry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Booby Vinton, Elvis and Barry Manilow. The other is by Van Morrison and included on his 1989 album Avalon Sunset. It is a romantic ballad often played at weddings although it was originally written also as a prayer.

Martie (Virginia)   -   Okay, I googled it and found out:  1. It is #6 (Van's original) on a list of most popular 1st dance wedding songs in the UK. 2.  Van Morrison and The Chieftains won a Grammy Award in 1996 for "Have I Told You Lately". 3. It was on a list of the 100 greatest love songs of all time.

Tay (Iowa)   -   This song was written by Scott Wiseman, Gene Autry first recorded it, then Bing Crosby with the Andrew Sisters and Van Morrison brought it back in 1989. It's an old song redone and guess what? It's on Barry Manilow's supplemental CD with the Greatest songs of the '70's. Don't believe me?

Carla (Tennessee)   -   I heard many years ago on the Top 40 count down that this song was about the artist's relationship with God - but I assumed the DJ meant Rod Stewart; I am glad to see that it is someone else (Van Morrison) because Rod Stewart sure wasn't coming across as a Christian. I have not heard Van Morrison sing this, but look forward to it.

Ian (Liverpool)   -   It just shows that Dumb-ass old Rod misunderstood the song in the first place along with the rest of the world. Like the retards that have it at their wedding but only had a civil ceremony because they don't believe in God..durr. One has to remember that Roderick David Stewart, born January 10, 1945), was born and raised in London, but reckons he's Scottish. I rest my case.

Leah (Brooklyn)   -   Van Morrison may very well be the most blatant hypocrite in music. The man has written and recorded spiritual songs for nearly 20 years, yet is an apologetic and abrasive misanthrope of legendary proportion. No one is exempt from his wrath--not previous lovers, fans, or even other musicians he so often accuses of stealing his style, like Springsteen and Segar. His disgust with the music business that supports him spills out in dozens of songs like "Why Must I Always Explain," "Professional Jealousy," "Take Your Hand Out Of My Pocket" and as far back as '66, in the cynical blues song "The Big Royalty Check." It often seems to border on paranoia. The contrast of such vicious diatribes with his spiritual declarations in "Be Thou My Vision" or "Whenever God Shines His Light" often seems ludicrous.

Helen (Virginia)   -   By the way, Leah uses the word diatribe for Van Morrison, and the definition is "A BITTER, ABUSIVE DENUNCIATION". Hum, sounds like LEAH, too!!! The songs she listed in her diatribe are not about the music industry! Morrison to this day has never received a penny for Brown Eyed Girl. Where is the ROYALTY CHECK?

JD (Tampa)   -   Van is not necessarily the superior songwriter of the two. Rod has written very soul-wrenching stuff as well (Mandolin Wind, Scarred and Scared, I Was Only Joking, to name very few). Thing is, as noted from a big Rod Stewart fan, his "best" rarely makes the airwaves. Van's does, and Van's his own man. As for this song, Van sings it best, and yes, I believe it was written as a praise to God; Rod (being Rod), took it in a more earthly direction (his blonde of the moment)!

Paul Gimlik (Hereford)   -   How on earth can you refer to Van Morrison's version as schmaltzy? Van wrote the song and knows, therefore, how it should be sung!

Scott (Ohio)   -   This song was written by Van Morrison and it's much better served by himself than some hack artist who makes his money doing remakes with his bleached, scratchy voice. IMO, the only thing "Rod" Stewed was a pot of big dung, that was the commercial music industry. Van Morrison actually wrote this song in light of his spiritual love with God. Van's music proves to be genius no matter how you choose to relate great music does.

Jonathon Brown (Indiana)   -   The person who wrote that song is Scotty Wiseman and he is my 6th cousin.

AJ (Georgia)   -   Van did the best version, but Rod's voice was made for it.

Stefanie Magura (South Carolina)   -   I haven't heard Van Morrison's version, but I think he has written better songs than this one. Rod did a good job,but I've never been a huge fan of his work.

Shaun (Montana)   -   Van Morrison is of course a great singer and songwriter. However his version is schmaltzy and dull. It took Rod to make it a good song and give it some soul. Even so, Van has written a gazillion songs better than this one.


  1. Is Tay from Iowa retarded?

  2. No, seems like he's mostly misinformed