Van Morrison – Into The Mystic

This song changes my mood as soon as it plays. Into the Mystic flows through you…wait… hold on… I’m sounding like a sixties guru but the song is a special one. It was on his album Moondance released in 1970. The album peaked at #29 in the Billboard Album Charts.

Van’s output from the late sixties to mid-seventies was just incredible in quantity and quality. He continues to this day releasing music. In the last 10 years, he has had 3 top ten albums.

I’ve never really tried to interpret this song…I just go where it takes me.

Van Morrsion: “‘Into the Mystic’ is another one like ‘Madame Joy’ and ‘Brown Eyed Girl’. Originally I wrote it as ‘Into the Misty’. But later I thought that it had something of an ethereal feeling to it so I called it ‘Into the Mystic’. That song is kind of funny because when it came time to send the lyrics in WB Music, I couldn’t figure out what to send them. Because really the song has two sets of lyrics. For example, there’s ‘I was born before the wind’ and ‘I was borne before the wind’, and also ‘Also younger than the son, Ere the bonny boat was one’ and ‘All so younger than the son, Ere the bonny boat was won’ … I guess the song is just about being part of the universe.”

 

From Songfacts

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.”

This was played in the 1989 Mary Stuart Masterson movie Immediate Family. She played a woman who was young and pregnant and planning to give her baby to Glenn Close and James Woods, who couldn’t have a baby of their own. 

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.

Jen Chapin, the daughter of Cat’s In The Cradle singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, covered this on her 2008 CD Light of Mine.

Into The Mystic

We were borne before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won
As we sailed into the mystic

Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that foghorn blows
I will be coming home
And when the foghorn blows
I want to hear it

I don’t have to fear it and I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And magnificently we will flow into the mystic

When that fog horn blows
You know I will be coming home
And when that fog horn whistle blows
I got to hear it

I don’t have to fear it and I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will flow into the mystic
Come on, girl

Too late to stop now

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

12 thoughts on “Van Morrison – Into The Mystic”

    1. Great post! Women love this song, but I guess men do, too.

      REALLY interesting observations about the lyrics. One time I read the lyrics to The Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night” and they sounded the same as what I heard, but were written differently.

      “And night I’m yours” vs. “And night-time yours”. In this case, the meaning was still the same.

      Good stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree….he has…I saw him on the Pay The Devil tour…it was more covers on that album but I liked it. For me though those early years were great. I also liked Wavelength…Wavelength is when I really discovered him.

      Liked by 1 person

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