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What Really Got Van Morrison 'Stoned' In His Hit Song?

One of the greatest - and trippiest - albums in modern music history is "Moondance," the breakout record by Van Morrison, who turns 71 today. "This is an album of late-night revelry and ecstatic visions," Rolling Stone wrote when the rock magazine compiled its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time back in 2003.

"Moondance" earned that praise through Morrison's surreal lyrics in songs like the title trackInto the Mystic and the enigmatic tune that kicks off the album: the folksy ballad "And It Stoned Me," which describes a euphoric state in the chorus.

And it stoned me to my soul.
Stoned me just like Jelly Roll.
And it stoned me.
And it stoned me to my soul.
Stoned me just like goin' home.
And it stoned me.

But the song doesn't clarify what exactly the "it" that got Van Morrison stoned was. So for years, listeners had to wonder if Morrison was singing about marijuana, LSD or some other mind-bending substance. Then in 1985, the singer opened up about the song in a 1985 interview that was transcribed in the biography Van Morrison: Too Late to Stop Now (1993) by Steve Turner.

"I suppose I was about 12 years old," Morrison said. "We used to go to a place called Ballystockart to fish. We stopped in the village on the way up to this place and I went to this little stone house, and there was an old man there with dark weather-beaten skin, and we asked him if he had any water. He gave us some water which he said he'd got from the stream. We drank some and everything seemed to stop for me. Time stood still. For five minutes everything was really quiet and I was in this 'other dimension'. That's what the song is about."

In other words, Morrison doesn't know what got him stoned either. But at least he narrowed the options to things that can be consumed in liquid form - like cannabis tinctures. Have a listen and see if you can figure out what he and his friend sipped back in 1957. 


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