Thursday, December 7, 2017

Into the Mystic

"Into the Mystic" is a song from the album Moondance, by Van Morrison and is often used by doctors in surgery due to its soothing, chill vibe. The song is in first person but is rather ambiguous in the first stanza. When Morrison sent the lyrics in to WB Music, he made careful word choices as many of the lines throughout the song hold homophones in them. For example, the official lyrics printed are "Ere the bonnie boat was won", but he also considered printing the lyrics as "Ere the bonnie boat was one" which changes the meaning of the line in its entirety. The mysteriousness of the lyric's meaning lends to the nonsensical, mystical tone that the song provides as a whole.

 The song begins:
We were borne before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was one
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic 
Morrison's interesting choice of using "We" to start the song gives it a more common, unifying experience for the listener. By starting the song like this, he forces the listener to immediately get into the scenery that he paints of being on a boat, facing the wind, and enjoying life. Along with using "we", Morrison goes on in the song to say "I want to rock your gypsy soul" separating himself from the listener a bit. By describing the audience as having a "gypsy soul", Morrison produces an expectation that his listeners be free-spirited, with a zest for life,  like an actual gypsy. 

Since Morrison is successful in creating not only a common experience but an individual one for the listener, he fully conveys the idea that life is experienced in very much the same way. The lyrics show a person searching for their "foghorn" or meaning in life while also yearning for the freedom to "float" through their days in the "mystic" of it.

Morrison's imagery of a boat floating freely through fog is a metaphor for the obscure, unknown parts of life that we don't understand until they've been reached. "Into the Mystic" gives its listeners permission to relax and go with the flow of life, as he reminds them that they truly don't have much control over it.

And together we will float into the mystic
Come on girl
Too late to stop now

He ends the song perfectly with five short words that summarize his message, that even though life is unpredictable, like a "gypsy soul", we must carry on.

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