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Van Morrison — Madame George
Album: Astral Weeks
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1684









Released: 1970
Length: 9:27
Plays (last 30 days): 2
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 (181)add comment
Today, his wailing is really hitting me wrong.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

What's that? Sorry, I got distracted looking for my prune juice.   ; )

It's said that there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who like Van Morrison and those who've met him.

I've seen him live three times and can honestly say he's the least charismatic performer I've ever seen. His crankiness is legendary and his descent into batshit conspiracy theorist is no surprise.
 Proclivities wrote:
What about the old 10-second-attention-span crowd?  They must be out there too.

What's that? Sorry, I got distracted looking for my prune juice.   ; )
The first time I heard this LP I didn't like it. Then it kept going through my mind so I gave another listen. Now I am convinced this is his best LP. 
Sing it Van!!!! -right into the mystic stratosphere! 
Lettin' loose!
Personally, I don’t want this hauntingly beautiful gem to end….
 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.


What about the old 10-second-attention-span crowd?  They must be out there too.
Tedious. Thank heavens for the skip button.
Van Morrison was 23 years of age when he recorded this. I feel inadequate.
 sorin_t_ghe wrote:

this is not singing, is reciting...



Yer ears need a reaming
 sirdroseph wrote:
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}


Oh, if you want to put the hate on Van Morrison, listen to the second disc of the The Complete Bang Sessions, starting with Twist And Shake.
Van the Man. Excellent.
This is such a great arrangement. The exquisite flutes and soaring violin.. Love it love it love.. Lifts my spirits on this grey dark rainy day in the Kootenays!! Thank you. Van's the man!! Saw him in concert at BC Place years ago with Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. It was a spiritual experience, even though I was in the nose-bleed zone. Epic! Praise be for our poets and minstrels! 
Genius
 h8rhater wrote:

Ooh, there's that 10-second attention span crowd chiming in.


Those with a 10-second attention span would likely only pay attention to the previous 10 seconds, which is about the length of the song.
 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.



Agreed on both counts. Have you heard this - twice as long, and IMO just as good.   Caledonian Soul Music


 PembrokeRoad wrote:

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


First of all, what's a "winer"? One who drinks wine?
And thanks for letting us all know that Van Morrison doesn't belong on Radio Paradise. All these years, I thought he did! So glad you cleared that up.  
Thx
 dtl wrote:
Wow, only 6.5 for this masterpiece?  Surprising it's not higher!
 
Should be 11
Thank you for this, Mr. Morrison.
this is not singing, is reciting...
 tutakea wrote:


I am not sure: This song is over 50 years old, an still getting better with every decade of "aging". This is a thing usually only really outstanding "grand cru" Wines achieve. so PembrokeRoad may be right to call it a "winer" :-)
 
I'll toast to that and to PembrokeRoad. Vintage is King when it comes to great "winers".
Not bad for VM; it's a 7 for me.
"In the corner playing dominoes in drag . . .

Madame George - Wikipedia




 Akazungu wrote:

You misspelled "winner."
 

I am not sure: This song is over 50 years old, an still getting better with every decade of "aging". This is a thing usually only really outstanding "grand cru" Wines achieve. so PembrokeRoad may be right to call it a "winer" :-)
 PembrokeRoad wrote:
I could never understand the appeal to this winer! Really doesnt belong here Radio Paradise.
 
You misspelled "winner."
I bought this album in the late 70's after finishing high school. It had all the critics raving over it. I remember when I first played it thinking this is a grower. It was I appreciate it a little better every time I put it on player. I must say that the album is really dependant on my state of mind. Today this is just perfect.
 paulmcnett wrote:
Was this 70 or 68?
 
November of 1968, according to All Music.
Was this 70 or 68?
One of the most significant artistic achievements of the 60's pop/rock music scene, Astral Weeks is still underappreciated. "Madame George" is one of the most beautiful, yet enigmatic cuts on the album. Sublime! Yep completely .,, Sublime
Glorious bass, string and beauty away from Madame George , lost to love, wondering why to Madame George . Amen Vsn !! 9/10
For those slamming the "10 second attention span" younger crowd, this album was recently recognized as one of the favorite and frequently mentioned influential albums of college students and millennials. There are 1o second attention span individuals of every generation. 
One of the most significant artistic achievements of the 60's pop/rock music scene, Astral Weeks is still underappreciated.  "Madame George" is one of the most beautiful,  yet enigmatic cuts on the album.  Sublime!
Always enjoyed the music virtuoso of VM. But this song is just a wonderful example of the wonderful musician that he is.
A lot of what I listen to plays in the background of my attention.  But not Van Morrison.  He gets my focus when his album spins.
 Paddy_Hannan wrote:
I'm honestly staggered by the low average rating for this. It's one of the great moments on one of the towering achievements in popular music.
 
It's also kind of Meh. And goes on for SO LONG.
I'm honestly staggered by the low average rating for this. It's one of the great moments on one of the towering achievements in popular music.
I couldn't get into VM until I heard live recordings, and hearing this, it's easy to understand why. On live albums, the power and nuance of his voice come through beautifully. But on this, it sounds nasally and shallow.
That whole album was at least a 10, and Ballerina was/is a 12+...
 
Astral Weeks will always be in my top 5...
 
 idiot_wind wrote:
Ok...when ya gonna play St Dominic's Preview? 
 
Bill plays it too...
c.
Ok...when ya gonna play St Dominic's Preview? 
From the guy who belts out "Gloria".  Kind of amazing. 

 
This would be a really nice instrumental! 
One of the greatest from one of the greatest.  
  Travelled half way across the world to see him live in Belfast and it was a fantastic, intimate  show.
I was living and working in Nepal when I first heard this song. I absolutely love it and it brings me out in goosebumps every time I hear it as well of reminding me of the fabulous time I had working there.
This is such a trippy song. From a trippy album. Recorded during a trippy time. 
I only like some Van Morrison, but I have to say, I LOVE the violin on this one! And the lyrics are pure poetry.
 ThePoose wrote:
Some albums are a on-off, fabulous tour de force that reach deep inside you.
 ...and squeeze your intestines...

He should have done some work with his cousins, the Halen's.
Anyone else hearing the same chord progression as "Stir it Up"?   (Bob Marley)
 avikatz wrote:

I gave it a well deserved nine but I guess there are some people who don't get it
 

I confess my confusion.  
 dtl wrote:
Wow, only 6.5 for this masterpiece?  Surprising it's not higher!
 
Overrated  
An exquisite sweet and sad celebration. The lyrics alone merit a 10. 
Some albums are a on-off, fabulous tour de force that reach deep inside you.
Absolutely the best track ever!
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. 

 
 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.