In the mail arrives a bonus for my celebration of a new day's health: Van Morrison's re-released and re-mastered masterpiece Avalon Sunset. I've been trying to get my hands on a CD of this for years on eBay, but could never win at a price I didn't consider excessive, and it had been long out of print, being a rather unrecognized masterpiece, I think, although a lesser light like Rod Stewart certainly got lots of mileage off of the fabulous love song Morrison wrote here, "Have I Told You Lately?"
But for my money, I also have to rank as favourite songs "Whenever God Shines His Light," "Daring Night," and "When Will I Ever Learn To Live In God?," which gives the collection its quietly Arthurian title. All of these rank as some of the great Christian pieces of music of the latter part of this past century, in this time after Morrison's conversion. I was first taken with the poppy "Whenever God Shines His Light," the duet with fellow musical convert Cliff Richard, when I first borrowed a taped copy of the CD from new friend Chris Urosevich my junior year of undergrad. I remember that it became an important part of a mix I made at the time for Jenny Patton, though I was so new to the music that I didn't even know the track's name on my unmarked tape, and wrote down an incorrect guess on the mix tape. Roommate David Nutting and I even toyed with doing the song for a service at church. It took time for the quieter and more subtle music of "When Will I Ever Learn To Live In God?"to grow on me, or for me to recognize the ecstatic and erotic Holy Spirit imagery of "Daring Night," both of which might have become more important songs to me in the end: tough for even me to tell.
But it's soooo good to finally have it all in my ears and heart and collection again.