Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Into the Mystic

Songfacts is a great site for song information and 26 Van songs are currently on the site.  Each song has some site-generated comment and then reader’s are invited to make comments.  Below is the page for Into the Music

- This is about a sailor at sea thinking about returning to his lover, who is back on land. Normally a foghorn signals danger, but in this case it means he is close to home and his love.

 - There is room for interpretation beyond the superficial meaning. It might be interpreted as expressing an understanding that life is finite (the ship sailing on its round trip) and must be lived to its fullest ("I want to rock your Gypsy soul"), and an acceptance of its inevitable end ("We will magnificently float into the mystic, when the foghorn blows I will be coming home"). When you have seen the world and loved someone, you should have no reason to fear the end because you have lived your life to the fullest.

- The original title was Into the Misty.
- According to Morrison, he couldn't decide whether the first line should be "We were born before the wind" or "We were borne before the wind."

- According to a BBC survey, because of this song's cooling, soothing vibe, this is one of the most popular songs for surgeons to listen to whilst performing operations.

Reader Comments

Barry   -   On May 3rd 1970, Johnny Rivers' 20th Hot Top 100 charted record, "Into The Mystic", entered the chart at position #90; eventually it peaked at #51 and it spent 8 weeks on the Top 100.

Meggan   -   My brother Jason recently passed away from brain cancer. Into the Mystic was his favourite song. I always knew that and I loved it as well but never really listened to the words. After really listening to the meaning of this song I can see why he loved it so much. It had a much deeper meaning for him. He was one of the greatest people I have ever known and every time I hear this song I think of him. Van Morrison has an amazing way of telling a story and I am so thankful for this one.

Neil   -   I have known this song for many years, since it first appeared on "Moondance", but I only recently rediscovered it. I am not a huge Van Morrison fan like many are but, along with a couple of Leonard Cohen tunes and Sting's Fields of Gold, Into the Mystic is now my favourite contemporary song. Mostly I like opera and classical music, yet I can listen to Into the Mystic over and over, which I cannot do for any other songs except a couple of arias such as Mozart's "Voi che sapete". For reasons that I cannot explain, probably the spiritual connotations of the lyrics, I weep every time I hear Into the Mystic, but especially when hearing/seeing it done by Diane Villadsen on You Tube.

L from Florida   -   I want to know if anyone thinks Into the Mystic was written about the legend of Arturo and Katerina.  They were young lovers, but destined to be together forever...We were born before the wind/also younger than the sun... He is coming home to get her, in the legend, the foghorn blows 3 times to let her know he is coming, and in the song, the foghorn blows 3 times.  In the legend, she jumps into the sea, to swim out to him in the boat , the lyrics "come on girl", and he loses her in the fog... the lyrics, "too late to stop now"...he jumps into the sea after her, they are finally together...and drowned, the legend says the sea spray against the rocks is evidence of them making love forever, is the "Mystic" eternity?

Sherm   -   During the AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony on TV Land 7-19-09, the first line of this song was played while giving honour to Michael Douglas. I'd not heard it before and I'm glad I surfed to learn about it. The female singer reminds me of Janis Joplin and her great talent!

Mercedies   -   I'm not religious and when I listen to this song I don't like to think of it as religious. This song is amazing and the lyrics are powerful. This song has helped me through some dark times. This is literally the greatest song ever written. 

Malachi   -   Only Van knows what it all means, right? It was number 5905 of the Moondance CD played on the jukebox at a local pub where I hung out in college... which is where I first heard it. I spent many quarters of my laundry money on this one song to the exasperation of the bar tenders who would have rather heard AC/DC, I'm sure. It got me through a period of sadness in my life. Yet, I played it at my wedding recently as well....a time of true happiness. It is my favourite song. I can't explain why except by saying that Van's music speaks to the soul! I love everything I've heard from him. Also, we played No Guru, No Method, No Teacher, before my wedding started. I read The Shack recently and was amazed by the parallel between No Guru and the "celebration" segment of the story in this novel.

Sandi   -   I too first heard this song from the "immediate family" movie. I loved it so much I went out and bought another two Van Morrison CDs, one being Moondance (fantastic album!!). About 7 years later, When I was pregnant with my first born, I made my fiance watch that same movie. While the credits were rolling at the end and they played a reprisal of Into the Mystic, my water broke and I went into labour!!! My firstborn has been raised on this album- we used it as his lullaby CD for bedtime and I have fond memories of rocking him to sleep to this song and the whole album!

Jonathon   -   "Bonny" is a Scottish word which means handsome or pretty. As pointed out below, "won" not only means attained, but also abide or dwell. The words of the first verse, when spoken, have multiple meanings (borne/born, also/all so, won/one), so what Van is exactly talking about is open to the listener to interpret. I think the poet is creating a sailing metaphor to not only talk about love but to point out that we are timeless and love exists beyond the physical plane (the bonny boat) we live in. That's what the mystic is.

Brett   -   Just in case anybody was wondering on Morrison's website they list the lyric as we will FOLD into the mystic.

Thomas   -   When I heard this song I always thought he was singing about a woman. But having read the lyrics, it struck me that he was singing about transcending his fear of death and that it would just be a continuance of his life's journey. Quite an up-lifting song when you get past the romance aspect of it.

Spins   -   Someone mentioned Into the Misty. Misty is what a young Van and he band mates in the Monarchs used to call alcohol.

Michelle   -   This song was played at the spreading of my mother's ashes. This was her favourite song. I love you mom and miss you dearly.

Dan   -   If you like this song and album then you owe it to yourself to get at least three other Van albums- Tupelo Honey, St.Dominic's Preview and His Band and the Street Choir - these three are almost as good as Moondance

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