Mar 30

Vincent

*

On a couple of evenings this past week, the night sky was crystal clear. I thought of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night when I cast my eye upon that palette of deep blue and gray.

The Starry Night

The Starry Night

Above photo taken at MoMA, NYC.

The Dutch painter, Vincent Van Gogh was born on the 30th of March in 1853. He died at the young age of 37 under circumstances that have been ruled a suicide, but evidence may indicate something different. Whatever the cause of his death, it is tragic that such talent never reached maturity.

In 1970, Don MacLean wrote a song titled Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) in which he romanticizes Van Gogh’s life, his death and waxes eloquently about his art and talent. The lyrics are touching and for those who have seen Van Gogh’s paintings up-close, the descriptions are masterful….I thought of Van Gogh’s painting, The Starry Night and I thought of that song while looking up at the night sky this week.

*

Vincent

by Don MacLean

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of China blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand

Now I understand what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left inside
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you, Vincent
This world was never meant
For one as beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget
Like the strangers that you’ve met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
A silver thorn, a bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will

*

Listen to Vincent with a wonderful analysis of the lyrics. Chinese student’s can listen here.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/vincent/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.