Van Morrison

And It Stoned Me

Song Review by

Van Morrison opens his most commercially successful album, Moondance, with this sentimental folk-rock song, "And It Stoned Me." Reminiscing over the youthful wanderings of a single day, Morrison marvels at the carefree, unpretentious, and simple beauty of adolescence with this personal, heartfelt tale. Accented strumming and lilting piano are set to a soft mid-tempo beat while Morrison sets the scene with his tight-jawed delivery: "Half a mile from the county fair/And the rain keep pourin' down/Me and Billy standin' there/With a silver half a crown/Hands are full of a fishin' rod/And the tackle on our backs/We just stood there getting wet/With our backs against the fence." The bridge is supported by a horn section sounding simultaneous uplifting and mournful as Morrison's vocal rises up, repeating, "Oh, the water/Oh, the water" before the music comes to rest for Morrison to sing the optimistic rejoinder, "Hope it don't rain all day," with equal amounts of yearning and regret. The solid chorus has an understated grandeur as Morrison comes to realize the pervasive effect ones formative years can have -- creating lasting impressions that continue to reverberate throughout our lives, likening it to the first time he heard the early jazz pioneering pianist Jelly Roll Morton or the universal feeling of going home: "And it stoned me to my soul/Stoned me just like Jelly Roll/And it stoned me to my soul/Stoned me just like goin' home/Yes it stoned me." Morrison follows with several verses relating the various escapades of the two boyhood friends, singing songs, getting drunk with a neighbor on their way home, brilliantly painting a picture of the day's events with an almost cinematic succinctness that manages to perfectly capture the memorable feeling of joy, of youth unfettered by responsibility that seems to permeate the track. Van Morrison, perhaps more than any other artist, can cram a single verse with so many vivid images and emotions, all rendered with poetic ease in the song's second verse: "Then the rain let up and the sun came up/And we were getting dry/Almost let a pick-up truck nearly pass us by/So we jumped right in and the driver grinned/And he dropped us up the road/We looked at the swim and we jumped right in/Not to mention fishing poles." Morrison ends the song with an extended chorus, driving the point home, opening up his vocals to meet the rising horns and scaling piano as the track reaches a gentle climax.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Moondance 1970 Rhino / Warner Bros. 4:32
The Best of Van Morrison [Mercury] 1990 Polydor 4:28
Still on Top: The Greatest Hits 2007 Polydor
Astral Weeks/Moondance/His Band and the Street Choir 2008 Rhino 4:34
The Essential Van Morrison 2015 Exile Productions / Sony Legacy 4:31
The Genuine Philosophers Stone One 4:21