Day 21: What song are you most grateful for? Hands down, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. I was probably 22 or 23 and had seen Van Morrison live maybe 1 or 2 times previously, but nonetheless I was very excited to see him at the historic Greek Theatre in Berkeley. When I had mentioned to people that I was going to see him they would ask what my favorite song was, and as typical as it may have seemed I always smiled and said Brown Eyed Girl. Ironically enough, I am NOT a brown eyed girl but it’s still my favorite song, and how can that song not make you smile and want to get up and dance?! Everyone’s response to me was, “He doesn’t play that song anymore.” I would say, “yeah, yeah I know – that’s what I’ve been told over and over.” I was still secretly hoping that he would play it though I knew that it was unlikely.
Van has key songs that he always plays for example Caravan, Moondance and Into the Mystic – but Brown Eyed Girl? Nope! Also, he always ends with Gloria (one of my least favorite songs haha). But nonetheless I had myself prepared to NOT hear Brown Eyed Girl.
So there I was at the concert, with my Mom (my usual concert buddy) and my Dad. We were sitting in that amphitheater listening to Van jam when he started to slide into a song that had a hint of Brown Eyed Girl. I didn’t want to get too excited but everyone around us was starting to get excited. And then, it happened. Van started singing Brown Eyed Girl, and this blue eyed girl actually started crying. Do you remember when Michael Jackson would be on tour and they would show these fans standing there singing and crying? Yup, that was mean – well kind of, I wasn’t like having a total meltdown but I was definitely a moment of “ah.”
We saw him again probably every year for the next handful of years and he played Brown Eyed Girl every time. It was like he decided to take the song out of retirement, but hearing it live for the first time is still a memory that I’m grateful for because I never thought I would hear one of my all time favorite songs live.
Did you know that Van still produces a new album every year or two? Back on Top from 2009 is one of my favorites and if you haven’t checked it out you definitely should. And, if you’ve never seen him live – please do! He stands up there and literally leads the band with his voice and his hands like a conductor. It’s quite impressive and he always puts on a flawless show.
If you’re lucky, maybe he’ll even play Brown Eyed Girl 🙂