Father’s Day

In the mid-nineteen eighties, my Dad was asked to be best man at a friend’s wedding. For his speech, he chose to read the words to Van Morrison’s ‘In the Garden’. I have a vivid memory – not of the wedding, I didn’t go – but of listening to the album from which the song is taken, in my Dad’s car, as we drove around the Suffolk lanes of my childhood. On one journey, when I must have been about twelve, I was looking at the album’s cassette case, and unravelling the pleasingly detailed inlay that tapes came with then, the lyrics to each song printed out. My Dad asked me to find ‘In the Garden’ and read it to him. I did. He turned the volume down on the car stereo, so he could listen to me read every word. He was listening to a poem. And I look back on that car journey as an early poetry reading in my life. I was not raised in a religious home. My Dad would comfortably describe himself as an atheist, but I have never forgotten the words to that spiritual song and when I hear it, I feel connected to that summery breeze, the daylight, the nature, the the garden, and to him.

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2 thoughts on “Father’s Day

  1. Thanks for this tender and lovely memory. Don’t you think Van Morrison is amazing? He is constantly touring and bringing out new songs and his backlist is stunning of course. I’ve been listening to him since I was nine when when of my older brothers worked in a record shop and used to bring home new albums. I’m thrilled that my 18 year old son (a musician) is now a big Van fan.

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