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Van Morrison — Cleaning Windows
Album: Beautiful Vision
Avg rating:
7.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 516









Released: 1982
Length: 4:34
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Oh, the smell of the bakery from across the street
Got in my nose
As we carried our ladders down the street
With the wrought-iron gate rows
I went home and listened to Jimmie Rodgers in my lunch-break
Bought five Woodbines at the shop on the corner
And went straight back to work.

Oh, Sam was up on top
And I was on the bottom with the v
We went for lemonade and Paris buns
At the shop and broke for tea
I collected from the lady
And I cleaned the fanlight inside-out
I was blowing saxophone on the weekend
In that down joint.

What's my line?
I'm happy cleaning windows
Take my time
I'll see you when my love grows
Baby don't let it slide
I'm a working man in my prime
Cleaning windows (number a hundred and thirty-six)

I heard Leadbelly and Blind Lemon
On the street where I was born
Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee,
Muddy Waters singin' "I'm A Rolling Stone"
I went home and read my Christmas Humphreys' book on Zen
Curiosity killed the cat
Kerouac's "Dharma Bums" and "On The Road"

What's my line?
I'm happy cleaning windows
Take my time
I'll see you when my love grows
Baby don't let it slide
I'm a working man in my prime
Cleaning windows
Comments (108)add comment
To me only 7 but I do not Skip    yet
always like this one lots. 

would be cool to hear "street in the city" next (townshend/lane) 
 exurbia wrote:
My favourite window cleaning song. Lucky to be cleaning mine right now, I had to stop.

 
My favorite is Ed Robertson's/Barenaked Ladies "When I Fall." But choosing between the two is a fool's errand, yes?
My favourite window cleaning song. Lucky to be cleaning mine right now, I had to stop.
A really fun song.  I love it!
 floydoftherocks wrote:
this makes me feel like i'm pooping in reverse.. {#Moon} {#Cry}
 
Got pics or a YouTube?  I'm thinking this would be extremely difficult ... and that you must have been practicing for such a very long time.
Leave it in the capable hands of Van Morrison to make a mundane thing like cleaning windows hip and cool.
 westslope wrote:

One artist who has competely devoted his life to the consumption of alcohol--regardless of the commercial, health or popular consequences.

 
One of thousands.
 westslope wrote:
One artist who has competely devoted his life to the consumption of alcohol--regardless of the commercial, health or popular consequences.
 
? ? ?
Perhaps you're thinking of Shane MacGowan?
 WonderLizard wrote:
One artist who has completely devoted his life to his art--regardless of the commercial or popular consequences.

 
One artist who has competely devoted his life to the consumption of alcohol--regardless of the commercial, health or popular consequences.
Great album, although this track is not typical of the mystical Celtic vibe of most of the album.
One artist who has completely devoted his life to his art--regardless of the commercial or popular consequences.
 Barman wrote:

{#Iamwithstupid}

 
Indeed you are.
 d-don wrote:


Thank you so much for waxing so eloquently...

 
... and cluelessly.
Brilliant, but the version on 'Live at the Grand Opera House" blows the pants off this...
Personally, to this I prefer George Formby's When I'm Cleaning Windows. TFF PSD.
 johnjconn wrote:
yuk

Van, the boring Man
 

Thank you so much for waxing so eloquently...
 ambrebalte wrote:
I love Van Morrison. Sans condition.
 
I'm with u
 Sounds like Knopfler in the background at some points
 johnjconn wrote:
yuk

Van, the boring Man
 
{#Iamwithstupid}
 johnjconn wrote:
yuk

Van, the boring Man
 
Sorry you don't get it.........
and follow this up with Joe Walsh's  All Night Laundermat Blues  
 helgigermany wrote:
Very nice!
 



Indeed, very very nice! Luv Van Morrison.
 mike00712 wrote:
I`ve played this Song before 10 Years in my own Band. I was the Drummer , and my Job Windowscleaner .  Wink
 
Don't think he was talking about the same windows. I've only cleaned mine once, at a dead show at Giants Stadium in 78
Very nice!
I`ve played this Song before 10 Years in my own Band. I was the Drummer , and my Job Windowscleaner .  Wink
 Proclivities wrote:


...or Chuck.
 
or Hunter...

I just picked this up last week. Yep, they're all there. Like a friggin' time machine, listening to this.

 DaveInVA wrote:


This song came out in 1982 not 1964 and was on the Beautiful Vision LP. Here is the artwork

 
I rather dig the album. Though I always felt somewhat uneasy about that aryan mist stuff....

Most excellent and bouncing tune. Van always makes me feel good. 
Can't believe I had this as a nine. Corrected {#Dance}
George Formby was the genesis of this tune.
 floydoftherocks wrote:
this makes me feel like i'm pooping in reverse.. {#Moon} {#Cry}
 
wait, what?
One of my all time favorite songs. Good stuff. 
 Hannio wrote:


Yes, we all know Van rhymes with man.  Good thing his name wasn't Rick or Mick.
 

...or Chuck.
UK in-joke. . . Arf!




Very profound...  with a decent degree of funk...  cool...

 
this makes me feel like i'm pooping in reverse.. {#Moon} {#Cry}
 boober wrote:
What's with the numbers he shouts out.."number 126"?
Street numbers?
 

Sounds like he's calling out to one of his fellow window-cleaners - they usually worked in pairs or groups, in Belfast. And then "we'll be around tomorrow" sounds like he's finishing for the day and telling the home-owner that he'll be back the next day to do their windows. And yes, in B'lfast, it's pronounced "ta-marrah"!

{#Bounce}


This song came out in 1982 not 1964 and was on the Beautiful Vision LP. Here is the artwork

 catnip wrote:
This is the song which made me finally get Van (which is odd, as it's not really typical). The comments below make sense, but if you take this as a song about a man just cutting loose and enjoying life, it works very well indeed. The version on "Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast" blows the socks off this (as it does off many of the studio recordings). If you don't get Van, ignore the "Best of", start with this live album, progress onto "It's too late to stop now", and then you'll be able to graduate to the studio albums. A trip well worth taking, and I'm still probably still only half way there...
 
I got Van since the days of The Band. I still get Van and he does 9's interspersed with some 10's.

-One of the Great British Invaders- {#War}
This is the song which made me finally get Van (which is odd, as it's not really typical). The comments below make sense, but if you take this as a song about a man just cutting loose and enjoying life, it works very well indeed. The version on "Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast" blows the socks off this (as it does off many of the studio recordings). If you don't get Van, ignore the "Best of", start with this live album, progress onto "It's too late to stop now", and then you'll be able to graduate to the studio albums. A trip well worth taking, and I'm still probably still only half way there...
I love Van Morrison. Sans condition.
 Brooky wrote:
Van remains the man...We all know it...
 

Yes, we all know Van rhymes with man.  Good thing his name wasn't Rick or Mick.
 trempel wrote:
maybe some of like the lyrics because it offers a litle respite from those snobby people who think life can only be enjoyed with lots of money. Much of the world is working-class, and some of them actually are happy and able to enjoy the small and simple pleasures in life. LIke eating paris buns and lemonade at a little cafe somewhere. Chances are, amany of us would be a lot more happy idf we were capable of enjoying such things.
 

Very true.  Money isn't everything.  Unless you don't have any at all, of course.  Then it really is everything.
Van remains the man...We all know it...
 nigelr wrote:
IMHO, easily one of his top ten recordings. Who is playing guit on this? Fantastic!
 
Mark Knopfler

IMHO, easily one of his top ten recordings. Who is playing guit on this? Fantastic!
Interesting. The left channel fades out for a couple of seconds near the end, just like it does on my copy of this CD. Anyone else notice it? Anyone know if the track does that on Beautiful Vision as well?
Long live the dreamers and idealists, god bless 'em.{#Daisy}

Not my favorite Van song, but it introduced me to a lot of great music and books.  When I was a senior in college I read the lyrics and then looked up all of the things he referenced in the song... those things affected my life quite a bit.  Thanks Van!
 spoko wrote:
I hate this song. I like some of his stuff, but nobody over-romanticizes the working class like Van Morrison. Between him and Paul Simon, you'd think the best life in the world was lived by people who barely make it from one paycheck to the next (ow who have no paychecks in the first place).

And yes, I know Van Morrison used to be a window cleaner. That don't mean a thing—he didn't grow old in the working class, and that's where the reality lies.
 
Sounding a little bitter there. You're not an under paid middle-aged or older window cleaner not enjoying being that by any chance, are you? Not a bad happy-sounding song tho, by the way!


Van Morrison has put out some great songs.

This is not one of them.

Thanks for dusting this off & putting it on.
Such an underplayed under rated song. So nice to hear this one occasionally.
This was one of the selections on a dive pool bar juke box in Baltimore. I used to play it and watch the whole bar tap their feet to a song that they'd likely not heard before.
Van has his ups and downs. This is amongst his ups.
Now I'm listening to "Working Man's Blues". Nice segue!
Van the man!{#Bananajam}
 boober wrote:
What's with the numbers he shouts out.."number 126"?
Street numbers?
 
Number of RP listeners who have left during the song.



Smooth reggae rhythm...


I have no idea if this song is objectively good, but RP has taught me to love Van Morrison. So enjoyable!
this addition to the collective body of knowledge is profound :drunk: agnes wrote:
:eek: I had no idea Van Morrison could suck this much.
Oh man, this song is freakin' sweet. Thanks, Van.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/musictv/vanmorrison/ BBC Four Sessions Tonight 10pm BBC Four Song writing genius, musical icon, hat-wearer - Van Morrison has been captivating audiences with his unique blend of soul, jazz and Celtic music for over forty years. Check out preview videos online ahead of tonight's programme.
:eek: I had no idea Van Morrison could suck this much.
boober wrote:
What's with the numbers he shouts out.."number 126"? Street numbers?
I believe it is the number of windows has cleaned that day.
EssexTex wrote:
Like his music,why's he such a grouch though...saw him in concert and he muttered everything, couldn't understand a word.
I agree. He's made some incredible albums, but he generally sucks live. He puts on his "Mr. Grumpy-Pants" persona.
Cool tune.
What's with the numbers he shouts out.."number 126"? Street numbers?
Van Morrison needs to give it a rest. He's so very tired.
George Fornby did it better
spoko wrote:
I hate this song. I like some of his stuff, but nobody over-romanticizes the working class like Van Morrison. Between him and Paul Simon, you'd think the best life in the world was lived by people who barely make it from one paycheck to the next (ow who have no paychecks in the first place). And yes, I know Van Morrison used to be a window cleaner. That don't mean a thing--he didn't grow old in the working class, and that's where the reality lies.
Oh chill the f#*k out.
Wikipedia (click here) says it's Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) noodling guitar.
JokesandJokesandJokes wrote:
After I bought a certain DVD, I was hungry for Paris' buns as well
hmmmmmmm Paris's buns
Okay...just too coincidental.There's actually a guy outside my office window...cleaning windows as the song plays.
Like his music,why's he such a grouch though...saw him in concert and he muttered everything, couldn't understand a word.
:sunny:
spoko wrote:
I hate this song. I like some of his stuff, but nobody over-romanticizes the working class like Van Morrison. Between him and Paul Simon, you'd think the best life in the world was lived by people who barely make it from one paycheck to the next (ow who have no paychecks in the first place). And yes, I know Van Morrison used to be a window cleaner. That don't mean a thing--he didn't grow old in the working class, and that's where the reality lies.
Van always tends to idealize. He does it using his memory. A good example would be Hymns to the silence, as an album, and especially the track On Hyndford Street thereon. Strange enough: Van is often able to idealize in a sincere, quite credible way. Go and have a listen to Hyndford Street.
TJOpootertoot wrote:
Long time no play. Lovely to hear it on this long afternoon. It's a great little tune.
Ditto. Ditto the rest too, but it's already been quoted at length. I don't give a damn where Van's from or not from . . . It's a happy song, and that's what it's about.
trempel wrote:
maybe some of like the lyrics because it offers a litle respite from those snobby people who think life can only be enjoyed with lots of money. Much of the world is working-class, and some of them actually are happy and able to enjoy the small and simple pleasures in life. LIke eating paris buns and lemonade at a little cafe somewhere. Chances are, amany of us would be a lot more happy idf we were capable of enjoying such things.
Amen!
TJOpootertoot wrote:
Long time no play. Lovely to hear it on this long afternoon. It's a great little tune. I almost understand people who criticize those who "romanticize the working class," but it never holds up for me. It ain't Van's fault of Springsteen's that they got rich because of their talent. It doesn't change who they are or where they come from. If it's a Van song and it's not going on too much about Jesus (no offence!) it's probably a good song. This one is no exception.
Almost just said the same thing. Great point.
Long time no play. Lovely to hear it on this long afternoon. It's a great little tune. I almost understand people who criticize those who "romanticize the working class," but it never holds up for me. It ain't Van's fault of Springsteen's that they got rich because of their talent. It doesn't change who they are or where they come from. If it's a Van song and it's not going on too much about Jesus (no offence!) it's probably a good song. This one is no exception.
haha lemonade and paris buns!!! reminds me of growing up in Belfast
maybe some of like the lyrics because it offers a litle respite from those snobby people who think life can only be enjoyed with lots of money. Much of the world is working-class, and some of them actually are happy and able to enjoy the small and simple pleasures in life. LIke eating paris buns and lemonade at a little cafe somewhere. Chances are, amany of us would be a lot more happy idf we were capable of enjoying such things.
I hate this song. I like some of his stuff, but nobody over-romanticizes the working class like Van Morrison. Between him and Paul Simon, you'd think the best life in the world was lived by people who barely make it from one paycheck to the next (ow who have no paychecks in the first place). And yes, I know Van Morrison used to be a window cleaner. That don't mean a thing--he didn't grow old in the working class, and that's where the reality lies.
farleym wrote:
My most favorite Van tune.
Mine, too! I give it a THREE. Can the Van! Let's hear MUSIC!
apd wrote:
...he's making me hungry for Paris buns...
After I bought a certain DVD, I was hungry for Paris' buns as well
My most favorite Van tune. Thanks for playing it here!
Not quite John Lennon's Working Class Hero, but there's definitely some sincerity of story here.
That trumpet is calling me away from my work, wait, i still have to.. bumph.. ok alright.. i'll.. ok. alright... time to groove
Has anyone read Christmas Humphrey's book on Zen?
This is my favorite song of all time - thanks for playing it. Rock on Van!
Number 36! :bounce:
Dave_Mack wrote:
Anybody hear a kind of Grateful Dead groove going here? The geetar sounds particularly like Jerry's noodling.
I've always thought it sounded more like BB King, particularly the way it fills between the vocal lines.
Durn... I though at first it was Delbert McClinton.
Let's all walk close to the ground, now. :moon: :moon: :moon: I mean this in a good way.
Dave_Mack wrote:
Anybody hear a kind of Grateful Dead groove going here? The geetar sounds particularly like Jerry's noodling.
Exactly what I was thinking!
Originally Posted by tdogboy: "Go read my Christmas Humphries book on Zen." Wow! What a coincidence! I'm reading a Christmas Humphries book on Zen! :eek: I'm not a window cleaner, though. ;) What's that? That's the sound of newly found respect for the Van Man... My one hand is clapping. This song just has a nice happy feel, doesn't it? (Yeah, I know, ZEN or not, those two sentences can come across as something "uncle ernie" might say. :rolleyes: ;) )
Originally Posted by G: proudly displaying his Belfast accent at the end, too
...he's making me hungry for Paris buns...
\"Go read my Christmas Humphries book on Zen.\" Wow! What a coincidence! I\'m reading a Christmas Humphries book on Zen! :eek: I\'m not a window cleaner, though. ;) What\'s that? That\'s the sound of newly found respect for the Van Man. Thanks for the track, Bill. :clap:
Anybody hear a kind of Grateful Dead groove going here? The geetar sounds particularly like Jerry\'s noodling.
Originally Posted by dmax: I know that he's trying to say something...reassuring... about blue collar work, but this comes off as patronizing.
I am pretty darn sure that Van used to clean windows in his younger years!
I know that he\'s trying to say something...reassuring... about blue collar work, but this comes off as patronizing.
Van the Man... I also like his music.
love this tune...so groovy...makes me tap my toes :D
Waaaaaaay back when, Van Morrison really was a window-cleaner. I believe, shortly before he formed Them. Loooooong after that, it (at least) brought him the pleasure of writing a very fine song, refering to it.
Originally Posted by erik_j: pRETTY DAMN GOOD FOR AN iRISH GUY (Belfast)-Ha
proudly displaying his Belfast accent at the end, too
Never heard this one before, but I like it. Good working song. Lots of story. I also like the cymbol work and sax in the background.
What downright groovy tune! Go on, Mr. Morrison!
pRETTY DAMN GOOD FOR AN iRISH GUY (Belfast)-Ha