U2 Toast Van Morrison at 75

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2020-08-31)

Today is Van Morrison’s 75th birthday, and there are celebrations going on throughout Ireland to mark the musician reaching three-quarters of a century. U2 got into the celebrations themselves including an hour long program on U2 X-Radio, on SiriusXM. On the program, Bono, Adam Clayton and The Edge all spoke, and the station played songs from Van Morrison for an hour. Initial promotion for the show only mentioned the involvement of Bono and The Edge.

The playlist for the hour long special was as follows:

  • The Edge wishes Van Morrison a happy birthday with a birthday message
  • “Domino” – Van Morrison
  • The Edge introduces “Caravan”
  • “Caravan” – Van Morrison
  • Bono reads “Into the Mystic” over music
  • “Into the Mystic” – Van Morrison
  • The Edge introduces “Gloria”
  • “Gloria” – Them
  • Adam Clayton talks about appearing at festivals with Van Morrison, and his favourite recordings
  • “Whenever God Shines His Light” – Van Morrison
  • The Edge speaks about the show, and introduces “Got to Go Where the Love Is”
  • “Got to Go Where the Love Is” – Van Morrison
  • Bono speaks about Van Morrison saying Bono would be “great when he’s finished” and reads “Moondance” over music (station ID’s say it’s “A Sense of Wonder” being read.)
  • “Moondance” – Van Morrison
  • The Edge introduces “Cyprus Avenue”
  • “Cyprus Avenue” – Van Morrison
  • The Edge introduces “Jackie Wilson Said”
  • “Jackie Wilson Said” – Van Morrison
  • Bono reads “A Sense of Wonder” over music
  • “A Sense of Wonder” – Van Morrison
  • The Edge closes the show, and wishes Van Morrison many more birthdays

For those with access to SiriusXM, the show will air again tonight at 8pm ET, and should repeat later in the week.

Also today, Bono delievered a version of Van Morrison’s “Sense of Wonder” on U2’s social media accounts. The reading of lyrics was accompanied with a sketch by Bono of Van Morrison done on Bono’s iPad, as well as the lyrics from the song in the background of the image. That video can be seen below.

Earlier this year, Bono included Van Morrison’s “A Sense of Wonder” in the 60 Songs that Saved His Life. The letter reads, “Dear Van, Just a note to remind you of how much we love you, maestro…you and your magnificent soul…sense of wonder is all…living in the eternal moment is all…explorations. You sing us through your inquiries…we’ve travelled with you all the way. We’re all searching for a home that’s not just an island. Ah the vicissitudes…but, as well as shite, love is around ever corner…I think. Your fan, Bono” He also included Van Morrison on his 40 Irish songs including Them’s “Gloria” on the playlist, released the same weekend.

Bono has often included snippets of Van Morrison’s “Gloria” in their own live performances. He also interviewed Van Morrison and Bob Dylan in the hours ahead of the Slane Castle concert in 1984 for Hot Press magazine. Bono has joined Van Morrison for an appearance at the Nice Jazz Festival to perform “Gloria” in 1999, and also joined Van Morrison on stage for the song in Dublin in 1993. (In both cases, Van Morrison’s song, not U2’s)

We’d like to take a moment to wish Van Morrison a happy 75th birthday.

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