This mix of genuine humility and hard-won hubris, of mysticism and technical mastery … makes Van Morrison quite simply, and quite indisputably, “The Bard of Belfast."
Featuring a foreword by Paul Muldoon and introduction by editor Eamonn Hughes, Keep ‘Er Lit is the second volume of Van Morrison’s selected lyrics containing one hundred and twenty-one songs from across his storied career.
It contains love songs, work songs, songs about the pains and anxieties of existence, songs of consolation, songs about various kinds of spiritual quest and the realms of the mystical, and songs which deal with healing and reconciliation, both with the self and with others. Then there are the songs of memory and of childhood; songs about the natural world and about the perspectives it can provide on time, which can exist both in various secular forms. There are songs of falling leaves and evening shadows, of joyous sounds and whining-boy moans; there are songs of wisdom and grace. There is also a long-standing concern with the ‘the voice of the silence’ and many tributes to the voices of musicians and writers who have been significant for Morrison.
Taken together with Lit Up Inside, the two volumes give an overview of his work over some fifty years, revealing why he is celebrated as one of the most innovative and enduring songwriters of our time.
These trance-like, free-forming lyrics are amazing … Van Morrison’s glorious art, for which these lyrics are the score, comes close to perfection.