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Van Morrison — Madame George
Album: Astral Weeks
Avg rating:
6.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 743









Released: 1970
Length: 9:27
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Down on Cyprus Avenue
With a childlike vision leaping into view
Clicking, clacking of the high heeled shoe
Ford and Fitzroy, Madame George
Marching with the soldier boy behind
He's much older with hat on drinking wine
And that smell of sweet perfume comes drifting through
The cool night air like Shalimar
And outside they're making all the stops
The kids out in the street collecting bottle-tops
Gone for cigarettes and matches in the shops
Happy taken Madame George
That's when you fall
Whoa, that's when you fall
Yeah, that's when you fall
When you fall into a trance
A sitting on a sofa playing games of chance
With your folded arms and history books you glance
Into the eyes of Madame George
And you think you found the bag
You're getting weaker and your knees begin to sag
In the corner playing dominoes in drag
The one and only Madame George
And then from outside the frosty window raps
She jumps up and says Lord have mercy I think it's the cops
And immediately drops everything she gots
Down into the street below
And you know you gotta go
On that train from Dublin up to Sandy Row
Throwing pennies at the bridges down below
And the rain, hail, sleet, and snow
Say goodbye to Madame George
Dry your eye for Madame George
Wonder why for Madame George
And as you leave, the room is filled with music, laughing, music,
Dancing, music all around the room
And all the little boys come around, walking away from it all
So cold
And as you're about to leave
She jumps up and says Hey love, you forgot your gloves
And the gloves to love to love the gloves...
To say goodbye to Madame George
Dry your eye for Madame George
Wonder why for Madame George
Dry your eyes for Madame George
Say goodbye in the wind and the rain on the back street
In the backstreet, in the back street
Say goodbye to Madame George
In the backstreet, in the back street, in the back street
Down home, down home in the back street
Gotta go
Say goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
Dry your eye your eye your eye your eye your eye...
Say goodbye to Madame George
And the loves to love to love the love
Say goodbye
Oooooo
Mmmmmmm
Say goodbye goodbye goodbye goodbye to Madame George
Dry your eye for Madame George
Wonder why for Madame George
The love's to love the love's to love the love's to love...
Say goodbye, goodbye
Get on the train
Get on the train, the train, the train...
This is the train, this is the train...
Whoa, say goodbye, goodbye....
Get on the train, get on the train...
Comments (126)add comment
Cypress Avenue.
 dtl wrote:
Wow, only 6.5 for this masterpiece?  Surprising it's not higher!
 
I gave it a well deserved nine but I guess there are some people who don't get it
 dtl wrote:
Wow, only 6.5 for this masterpiece?  Surprising it's not higher!
 
Agreed....heck I'll go 8 to 9 and help the cause out....Van the Man for the win! Long Live RP!!
Wow, only 6.5 for this masterpiece?  Surprising it's not higher!
10. Love it. Nine minute songs open doors right? So how about Fountain of Lamneth by Rush? just wondering. Try it and see what happens. 
Painfully long....about 8 minutes too long.
 Canadese wrote:
 paulstrangeway wrote:
Man does this ever end! Drone on.
 Ooh, there's that 10-second attention span crowd chiming in.
......Here's another one


 

I was just thinking as I listened how I sometimes yearn for the days that life unfolded at this pace... just what he's describing about the train trip, et al... so different from the sped up timelapse attention span we have now (and I include myself). 
 paulstrangeway wrote:
Man does this ever end! Drone on.
 Ooh, there's that 10-second attention span crowd chiming in.
......Here's another one


 On_The_Beach wrote:
Cool song from one of the greatest albums of all time.
Definitely not for the young 10-second-attention-span crowd, though.
 Ditto

Man does this ever end! Drone on.
 Randomax wrote:
One must be in the right setting to not feel this drags on and on...try listening right at dusk, no lights on, quiet house....very etherial..whole albums like that.
 

Exactly!!!!!!!
 mirland wrote:
Make the hurting stop.
 
Suicide is painless ... it brings on many changes
I just recently discovered this album, if you already like Morrison this is the one.  If not, you will especially hate it!{#Lol}  For me, it is sublime.{#Meditate}
Probably my favourite Van Morrison song of all time. A masterpiece.
Communication toute nue...
The album Astral Weeks is one of my desert island discs and Madame George is brilliant. A 10.
For lovers of this album who are not familiar with it, No Guru, No Method, No Teacher is like a companion to this one. There are even a number of lyrical repeats. I actually love it even more than Astral Weeks, in spite of a bit of 80's overproduction. 

 
he does drone on...
 kingart wrote:
OK, you can stop now, Van. That's a lovely song, but imho by the end it has sort of worn out its welcome. 
 
Ooh, there's that 10-second attention span crowd chiming in.
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Cool song from one of the greatest albums of all time.
Definitely not for the young 10-second-attention-span crowd, though.
 
Yea, it takes awhile to sink in.
Cool song from one of the greatest albums of all time.
Definitely not for the young 10-second-attention-span crowd, though.
His diversity is one of the reasons I enjoy his music so much. The instruments, along with the percussion aren't your everyday accompaniment. 
Van {#Sleep}ison
OK, you can stop now, Van. That's a lovely song, but imho by the end it has sort of worn out its welcome. 
A magic album!
 jptl wrote:
Being a pretty solid VM fan, and putting "Into the Mystic" up there as one of my all time favorites, I feel obligated to weigh in on this one:
4
Reaching for those high notes just isn't Van Morrison's strong point.
 
i guess you gotta be a die hard fan, to get it.
Spring Mark7 wrote:
Does anyone think Springsteen took some idea for Backstreets from this song?
 
Springsteen stole a lot of his style from Van (not just from this song). At least he knows talent when he hears it, huh?

i'm not the biggest fan of "the boss" myself. But Van is definitely the man!

And yes, I do LOVE this song too! in fact, every song on this album is amazing. It's inspired a lot of great musicians
 Dillinquent wrote:
I usually want to slug Van.  This song makes me want to slug him. He's a miserable old git.
 
hahahahahahaha!!
Alright, alright, I'll talk, I'll tell you anything you want to hear! Please, just make it stop!

The strings, please stop the strings... And that voice... oh, the humanity...
Will it ever end?
Simply annoying.
OK then: goodbye Madame George already!!  Be gone wi'ya.
I remember telling the wife that Adam from counting crows borrowed alot from Morrison's style of singing , on this album especially. And when saw them in concert they did 2 covers from Van , including this one , in concert.
You all can have your opinions but this song is sublime.  If you don't like it, just know there are songs you absolutely love, that want to make me insult people.  But, I refrain.
 suebee3 wrote:

I usually love Van.  This song makes me want to slug him. 

{#Puke}


 

Exactly.  A little too much Van can be a bad thing.
Ahhh, I needed this one. Right on time.
 Dillinquent wrote:
Bloody typical, I don't listen to RP for a week and as soon as I tune in again they're playing this dirge - again . It should have ended 20 years ago.
 
Ahhh, pooor baby.

 titanium667 wrote:
I really don't get this.
This song should have ended after 2 minutes.
1
Bloody typical, I don't listen to RP for a week and as soon as I tune in again they're playing this dirge - again . It should have ended 20 years ago.


I really don't get this.
This song should have ended after 2 minutes.
1
Love this song {#Music}
Does anyone think Springsteen took some idea for Backstreets from this song?
Bleyfusz wrote:
Bliss beyond description. Sorry for those who can't sense it.
 
I'm sensing the bliss.  I adore this song.


 suebee3 wrote:

I usually love Van.  This song makes me want to slug him. 

{#Puke}


  I usually want to slug Van.  This song makes me want to slug him. He's a miserable old git.

That noise Van makes when he's going mmm mmmm mmmm (or something like that) is very similar to the sound my cat makes right before he pukes. Seriously.
Someone actually more annoying than Dylan

I usually love Van.  This song makes me want to slug him. 

{#Puke}


alph, i always thought, in my own smoky haze, that this was van singing to me of that uncapturable "Madame JOY." She still visits me once in a while..
reading some of the posts:  this album (and era for Van) wasn't about "hitting the high notes" (and thanks, btw, I NEVER listened for that before) or any of that kind of critique....this was an ethereal album so just wake up on a sleepy Sunday morning, get a cup of joe, close your eyes and float away........a most amazing experience this album

Besides, does anyone remember that Van had to overcome being Tone Deaf!!??  As I recall he would not play live in the beginning but only did studio work because he could not hold a tone live....
 birdiestobehad wrote:
As Mr. Gumby would say.........."My brain hurts......"
 


I'll second that...

 Bleyfusz wrote:
Bliss beyond description. Sorry for those who can't sense it.
 

i sense it.

 Bleyfusz wrote:
Bliss beyond description. Sorry for those who can't sense it.
 
{#Yes}

As Mr. Gumby would say.........."My brain hurts......"
 jptl wrote:
Being a pretty solid VM fan, and putting "Into the Mystic" up there as one of my all time favorites, I feel obligated to weigh in on this one:
4
Reaching for those high notes just isn't Van Morrison's strong point.

 
I'm with you on that, brother. He's one of my all-time faves but, as Clint Eastwood noted, a man has got to know his limitations.

Still not loving the love that loves to love that loves to love.
Being a pretty solid VM fan, and putting "Into the Mystic" up there as one of my all time favorites, I feel obligated to weigh in on this one:
4
Reaching for those high notes just isn't Van Morrison's strong point.

Bliss beyond description. Sorry for those who can't sense it.
 toterola wrote:
{#Roflol}{#Razz} {#Beat} {#Ass}

Reminds me of a puppy I had once. He'd sh*t in the floor, and then bark at it.
Special! {#Wave}
 
laughing ... out ... loud...

woof!


 PembrokeRoad wrote:
I could never understand the appeal to this winer! Really doesnt belong here Radio Paradise.
 
Sort of thought that was up to the genius' of Bill and Rebecca. {#Ask}
 On_The_Beach wrote:

But I bet he can spell.

 

Sorry about that Beachy, Irish keyboards don't have H keys.  Thanks for pointing it out though {#Tongue-out}
 PembrokeRoad wrote:
I could never understand the appeal to this winer! Really doesnt belong here Radio Paradise.
 
But I bet he can spell.

 PembrokeRoad wrote:
I could never understand the appeal to this winer! Really doesnt belong here Radio Paradise.
 

{#Yes}
Does it ever end?   What an awful "song".
I could never understand the appeal to this winer! Really doesnt belong here Radio Paradise.
"Astral Weeks" is an apt description for a certain portion of one of my summers many years ago.  The sun was warm, the breeze was fresh, the world was beautiful, and my companions were the wisest and funniest people ever created.

The love that loves to love is annoying.
And to macadavy, thanks for your reply. I had asked for someone to explain the appeal, and you did that quite nicely, without resorting to insults. Nice to see some people still have some class.
 Droidac wrote:

Wow, that's a bit harsh, don't you think? So, just because I can't stand the guy's wailing, that makes me "culturally ignorant" and a "dullard"? Last time I checked, music was about what you hear, not just the words in the lyrics. Fine, the guy is a great poet; if I want poetry I'll pick up a book. If I want to music that's pleasant to the ear, I'll choose something other than Van. You like him? Fine. I don't. I'm not going to pretend to like him so that I can pass myself off as culturally sophisticated. What an immature comment of yours - sounds like something right out of high school - if I don't listen to the "right" music, I'm not worthy of your time. Here's some lack of culture for you - bite me.
 

{#Roflol}{#Razz} {#Beat} {#Ass}

That high-toned enough for you?

This guy sent me a private message about his reply post. I guess it's something he was proud of.

Reminds me of a puppy I had once. He'd sh*t in the floor, and then bark at it.

Special! {#Wave}


 toterola wrote:

Save your breath, friend. Anyone who asks this question (unless they are a youngster, or culturally ignorant) is identifying themselves as someone who willfully categorizes a singer's talent purely by tonality.

It's like trying to describe fission to a dullard. They may listen, but it ain't gonna click. {#Stupid}
 
Wow, that's a bit harsh, don't you think? So, just because I can't stand the guy's wailing, that makes me "culturally ignorant" and a "dullard"? Last time I checked, music was about what you hear, not just the words in the lyrics. Fine, the guy is a great poet; if I want poetry I'll pick up a book. If I want to music that's pleasant to the ear, I'll choose something other than Van. You like him? Fine. I don't. I'm not going to pretend to like him so that I can pass myself off as culturally sophisticated. What an immature comment of yours - sounds like something right out of high school - if I don't listen to the "right" music, I'm not worthy of your time. Here's some lack of culture for you - bite me.
 rtrudeau wrote:


Agreed .. how LONG is this song, anyway??
 

9 mins + 45 secs
say goodbye arleady
 peter_james_bond wrote:

You lucky thing, I missed that show.{#Sad}

I got in for free - won two tickets on a local radio station - on my birthday; gotta love that.  Hopefully one day he'll come back for another show.  Wouldn't he be amazing to see on the Halifax Common?  I just saw Paul McCartney play there.
 

 alph wrote:
I just woke up (still drunk), got stoned, turned on RP and this song is exactly where I'm at. Thank you, sir, and you can expect a contribution.
  

Indeed Alph, can you possibly beat an equally drunk and stoned Irish poet bent on mysticism and string instruments? This album is just one delightful trip !

{#Notworthy}
never-ending and annoying. hope I'll never hear it on the RP again.
I just woke up (still drunk), got stoned, turned on RP and this song is exactly where I'm at. Thank you, sir, and you can expect a contribution.


 macadavy wrote:


Simple, IMHO:  Like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and others;  Van Morrison is a great poet.  He sets his poems to music and the resulting song is so good it doesn't matter that Pavarotti he ain't! 
 
Save your breath, friend. Anyone who asks this question (unless they are a youngster, or culturally ignorant) is identifying themselves as someone who willfully categorizes a singer's talent purely by tonality.

It's like trying to describe fission to a dullard. They may listen, but it ain't gonna click. {#Stupid}
Brilliant.

 Bridieboo wrote:
I love this song - he's such a great story-teller.  The entire album is fantastic - a true classic. {#Clap}

I saw Van Morrison a few years ago when he came to Halifax - absolute magic.  He sounds exactly the same live as he does on his albums.

 
You lucky thing, I missed that show.{#Sad}
My day is saved.
One must be in the right setting to not feel this drags on and on...try listening right at dusk, no lights on, quiet house....very etherial..whole albums like that.

Have to say it again - I LOVE this!  So mellow and relaxing and just leaves you feeling good.


Great song from a terrific album.
I like a lot of Van Morrison's work, but this is a self-indulgent album filler that tests the limits of Van's vocal stylings, at least by my ear's reactions to it.
 Excelsior wrote:
This is a travesty, and it never ends!!!  {#Puke}
 

This will probably never happen again, but just this once, I agree with Excelsior 100%.
It will never end?{#Frustrated}
I love this song - he's such a great story-teller.  The entire album is fantastic - a true classic. {#Clap}

I saw Van Morrison a few years ago when he came to Halifax - absolute magic.  He sounds exactly the same live as he does on his albums.

Next time follow with Bruce's Backstreets - clearly a nod -
markoirl wrote:
The sweet sound of a passing kidney stone

LMAO....agreed!

The sweet sound of a passing kidney stone
This is a travesty, and it never ends!!!  {#Puke}
 Droidac wrote:

Can someone please explain the appeal of Van Morrison for me? Yes, he does write interesting songs, musically and lyrically, but what good is that when his voice is SO hard to listen too?


 

Simple, IMHO:  Like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and others;  Van Morrison is a great poet.  He sets his poems to music and the resulting song is so good it doesn't matter that Pavarotti he ain't! 


Bad Smashing Pumpkins imitation. Heh

Can someone please explain the appeal of Van Morrison for me? Yes, he does write interesting songs, musically and lyrically, but what good is that when his voice is SO hard to listen too?
the older I get, the more I love this song-and album. this is Van's Sugar Mountain.
This gets my vote for best song about transvestite love. :wave:
Captain-Fishy wrote:
Genius
Hear! Hear!
Genius
MCKY wrote:
So good-amazing someone that young could feel so much.
Exactly so. And yet our fast-food lifestyles leave so many people wanting the human experience to be summed up in 3 minutes or less.
Pearls before swine.
Make the hurting stop.
yikes, I had it at a 4 (really a 3 tempered by the fact that Van IS the Man) but after his trilling "goodbye" for what seemed like 20 minutes, its back down to 3. Enough!
Geecheeboy wrote:
This would not pass the LRC.
It wouldn't pass any measure that I can think of....just can't stand this artist.
chirpie wrote:
I had never heard this song and wondered what everyone else was dogging on it for... then came the second half... Yeah, I think in this case shorter would've been better... Still a solid 6.
Agreed .. how LONG is this song, anyway??
I had never heard this song and wondered what everyone else was dogging on it for... then came the second half... Yeah, I think in this case shorter would've been better... Still a solid 6.... EDIT: Hmm... it's STILL going. 5?
And I normally like Van Morrison.
Pyro wrote:
This album just brings up so many bittersweet memories. And that violin....mmmmmm! And if I wasn't such a "Van fan", I might think it was too long and dragged on....
I guess I am not much of a "Van fan".
This would not pass the LRC.
Hannio wrote:
Yeesh, this is painful.
Hurts so good...a classic song off a masterful album by a guy who was barely into his 20s. Respect.
Please . . . . STOP THAT! If I didn't know better, I would swear that I hate Van Morrison after hearing this song.
Yeesh, this is painful.
This album just brings up so many bittersweet memories. And that violin....mmmmmm! And if I wasn't such a "Van fan", I might think it was too long and dragged on....
cc_rider wrote:
This is not my favorite Van tune, so it only rates an 8. Anybody figgered out these lyrics? I'm thinking it's about a transvestite prostitute, but I may be barking up the wrong lamppost. c.
:lol:
cc_rider wrote:
Anybody figgered out these lyrics? c.
Dylan once chided us for trying to 'shovel the glimpse into the ditch of what each one 'means'". I think the song is not susceptible to analysis, it is rather a series of visions which create an overall impression. For me, the lyrics evoke the journey from adolescence into young adulthood, and the excitement and melancholy of love and loss. I sometimes imagine what music I would like to played at my funeral / celebration of my life, and this is one of the candidates. Or Metal Guru by T Rex. Or both?
cc_rider wrote:
This is not my favorite Van tune, so it only rates an 8. Anybody figgered out these lyrics? I'm thinking it's about a transvestite prostitute, but I may be barking up the wrong lamppost. c.
morrison himself has always said that it's not about anyone person or concrete idea -- it's a stream-of-consciousness poem about a spiritual feeling. the name "madame george" was supposed to have been "madame joy" originally too, but evolved into something else.
This is not my favorite Van tune, so it only rates an 8. Anybody figgered out these lyrics? I'm thinking it's about a transvestite prostitute, but I may be barking up the wrong lamppost. c.
So good-amazing someone that young could feel so much.
Jelani wrote:
Good bye already.
Yes. Please.
Nice take from Astral Weeks Bill, thanx for that, love the flute! :dance:
Good bye already.
Hannio wrote:
In general I like Van Morrison, but sometimes he sounds like a parody of himself.
I really don't think this is one of those times! This is one you will never hear on FM radio. All hail RP!!!!!