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Have I Told You Lately

by

Van Morrison



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This song is widely considered to be about Van Morrison's relationship with God and religious convictions. Although we've never heard him speak specifically about the song, he does acknowledge a spiritual element in his music. When asked about the topic in a 2009 Q&A in Time magazine, Morrison said, "Religion is a kind of word game. It's whatever it means to those individuals who are following that belief system. If you say something has got spirit or "I feel the spirit," to me, that would be more appropriate - spirit in the Aristotelian sense, that the mind and body and spirit are one thing. Which is different from religion."
Rod Stewart performed this on his MTV Unplugged special in 1993 and released this acoustic version on his album Unplugged... And Seated. This version was a big hit, going to #5 in both the US and UK. Stewart cried at the end of his MTV performance, overcome with emotion for his wife at the time, actress and swimsuit model Rachel Hunter. They were married from 1990-1999. Hunter claimed after the divorce that Rod "got boring."
There is a Country song from the '40s called "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You," which was recorded by Elvis Presley, Gene Autry, Bing Crosby and Ray Price, but that's a completely different song. That one was written by Scotty Wiseman.
Morrison recorded this song with The Chieftans in 1995. This version appeared on the group's album The Long Black Veil and earned a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
Van Morrison
Van Morrison Artistfacts
More Van Morrison songs
More songs about spirituality or religion
More songs often played at weddings

Comments (28):

Words and meaning are totaly different. Even if the music was a bit similar in melody, not sure Im not that old..I'm sure Van brought it into his own and embelished on top of that. All of Vans music Rocks and this ballad takes the cake.
- DJ, manchester, NH
Have I told you lately that I love you
Could I tell you once again somehow
Have I told, with all my heart and soul how I adore you
Well darlin' I'm tellin' you now.
This heart would break in two if you refuse me
I'm no good without you anyhow
Dear have I told you lately that I love you
Well darlin' I'm tellin' you now.

Have I told you lately that I miss you
When the stars are shinin' in the sky
Have I told you why the nights are long when you're not with me
Well darlin' I'm tellin' you now
This heart would break in two if you refuse me
I'm no good without you anyhow
Dear have I told you lately that I love you
Well darlin' I'm tellin' you now.

Have I told you lately when I'm sleepin'
Every dream I dream is you somehow
Have I told you who I'd like to share my love forever
Well darlin' I'm telling you now
This heart would break in two if you refuse me
I'm no good without you anyhow
Dear have I told you lately that I love you
Well darlin' I'm tellin' you now. Wiseman Scott
- DJ, manchester, NH
Great song. First heard it on the beach down south in '89. Good times.
- darren, Glendale, AZ
This song is actually titled "Have I Told You Lately" and should not be confused with the Scotty Wiseman song "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?", released in 1945.
- Elizabeth, Hoschton, GA
Me and a mate are in disagreement about this record.im a Rod fan and hes a Van fan.The thing is when Rods version was out it was said that it was the most played record on american radio, at the time . My mate wont accept this.can you verify please .I know im right
- carl, manchester, United Kingdom
Poor, guy. Why is he always so heavily criticized? I'm a forever fan! None of this nonsense could sway me in the least! He is an amazing artist and that's all I need to know. His personal life is his business. I don't want to speculate about his thoughts as he writes his lyrics. Why should you? Leave the man alone and just enjoy his music--I say!
- malachi, dublin, Ireland
Hi you guys, I don't think you have herd Elvis's version of the song it is still the best. Better than all the rest and I have heard all of them. But I am still confuse - how actually wrote the song - because on the Wikipedia it seems like it was done in the 1930's by Scotty Wiseman and belief me it is identical. O! yes even Jim Reeves does a good job of it.
- Daniel, Pretoria, South Africa
OK Tay get your info straight you are talking about 2 different songs with the same title. If you research a little further the lyrics are different. The one by Scotty Wiseman Was a country song. It was the greatest hit of Wiseman and his wife and one of the first country music songs to attract major attention in the pop music field. Recorded by many artists including Gene Autry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Booby Vinton, Elvis and Barry Manilow. The other is by Van Morrison and included on his 1989 album Avalon Sunset. It is a romantic ballad often played at weddings although it was originally written also as a prayer.
- Ellen, NH, NH
Okay, I googled it and found out:
It is #6 (Van's original) on a list of most popular 1st dance wedding songs in the UK.
Van Morrison and The Chieftains won a Grammy Award in 1996 for "Have I Told You Lately"
It was on a list of the 100 greatest love songs of all time.
- martie, Hanover, VA
The correct title to Van Morrison's song is actually [Have I Told You Lately]. I am looking at the album sleeve from Van Morrison's 1989 album and it says all songs written by Van Morrison. There is no doubt whatsoever that there are 2 different songs. Why the confusion?
- martie, Hanover, VA
okay - get this accurate...this song was written by Scott Wiseman, Gene Autry first recorded it, then Bing Crosby with the Andrew Sisters and Van Morrison brought it back in 1989. It's an old song redone and guess what? It's on Barry Manilow's supplemental CD with the Greatest songs of the '70's. Don't believe me? Google this or any song book/sheet music. Tay
- tay, dubuque, IA
If someone could explain to me how Springsteen ripped off Van Morrison, that'd be great.

Im a fan of both, and dont really see too much simliarties besides both being good lyricists (springsteen the better of the two) and both having distinct voices.
- Anthony, New York, NY
I heard many years ago on the Top 40 count down that this song was about the artist's relationship with God - but I assumed the DJ meant Rod Stewart; I am glad to see that it is someone else (Van Morrison) because Rod Stewart sure wasn't coming across as a Christian. I have not heard Van Morrison sing this, but look forward to it. Carla from Tennessee.
- Carla, Knoxville, TN
It just shows that Dum-ass old Rod mis-understood the song in the first place along with the rest of the world. Like the retards that have it at there wedding but only had a civil ceromony becasue they dont believe in God..durr. One has to remember that Roderick David Stewart, born January 10, 1945), was born and raised in London, but reakon he's Scottish I rest my case.
- Ian, Liverpool, England
By the way, Leah uses the word diatribe for Van Morrison, and the definition is "A BITTER, ABUSIVE DENUNCIATION". Hum, sounds like LEAH, too!!! The songs she listed in her diatribe are not about the music industry! Morrison to this day has never received a penny for Brown Eyed Girl. Where is the ROYALTY CHECK?
- Helen, Richmond , VA
The reason Rod Stewart gets so much acclaim and is wrongly credited with writing this is because people want glitz and drama over the real thing. Van Morrison is not a hypocrite as Leah says but he has genuinely written music to help uplift himself & others, instead of just thinking of his pocketbook, like the pop stars.
Springsteen & Seger did "rip" him off. What's wrong with the truth?
- Helen, Richmond , VA
hey leah, i got news for you. If you want to make some great point about something. You probably shouldn't use a bunch of huge words that half of the people reading your comment won't understand. You are clearly just trying to look smart by using words like, ditriabes, abrasive, misanthrope, which have been almost completely forgotten from the english language.
- Justin, Albany, NY
Van is not necessarily the superior songwriter of the two; Rod has written very soul-wrenching stuff as well (Mandolin Wind, Scarred and Scared, I Was Only Joking, to name very few). Thing is, as noted from a big Rod Stewart fan, his "best" rarely makes the airwaves. Van's does, and Van's his own man. As for this song, Van sings it best, and yes, I believe it was written as a prais to God; Rod (being Rod), took it in a more earthly direction (his blonde of the moment)!
- J.D., Tampa, FL
Van Morrison may very well be the blatant hypocrite in music. The man has written and recorded spiritual songs for nearly 20 years, yet is an uapologetic and abrasive misanthrope of legendary proportion. No one is exempt from his wrath--not previous lovers, fans, or even other musicians he so often accuses of stealing his style, like Springsteen and Segar. His disgust with the music business that supports him spills out in dozens of songs like "Why Must I Always Explain," "Professional Jealousy," "Take Your Hand Out Of My Pocket" and as far back as '66, in the cynical blues song "The Big Royalty Check." It often seems to border on paranoia. The contrast of such vicious diatriabes with his spiritual declarations in "Be Thou My Vision" or "Whenever God Shines His Light" often seems ludicrous.
- Leah, Brooklyn, NY
How on earth can you refer to Van Morrisons version as schmaltzy? Van wrote the song and knows, therefore, how it should be sung !
- Paul Gimlik, Hereford, England
This song was Written by Van Morrison and it's much better served by himself than some hack artist who makes his money doing remakes with his bleached, scratchy voice. IMO, the only thing "Rod" Stewed was a pot of big dung, that was the commercial music industry.
Van Morrison actually wrote this song in light of his spiritual love with god....He did that in alot of his music and it was misinterpreted along the way.
I am not religious in even the slightest fashion, but you say tomatoe, I say tomato... Van's music proves to be genius no matter how you choose to relate it...as great music does.
- Scott, Columbus, OH
This song was Written by Van Morrison and it's much better served by himself than some hack artist who makes his money doing remakes with his bleached, scratchy voice. IMO, the only thing "Rod" Stewed was a pot of big dung, that was the commercial music industry.
Van Morrison actually wrote this song in light of his spiritual love with ogd....He did that in alot of his music and it was misinterpreted along the way.
I am not religious in even the slightest fashion, but you say tomatoe, I say tomato... Van's music proves to be genius no matter how you choose top relate it...as great music does.
- Scott, Columbus, OH
The person who wrote that song is Scotty Wiseman he is my 6th cousin.
- Johanthon Brown, Indianapolis, IN
Van did the best version, but Rod's voice was made for it.
- AJ, Cleveland, GA
I haven't heard Van Morrison's version, but I think he has written better songs than this one. Rod Stuart did a good job,but I've never been a juge fan of his work.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
Van Morrison is of course a great singer and songwriter. However his version is schmalzy and dull. It took Rod to make it a good song and give it some soul. Even so, Van has written a gazillion songs better than this one.
- Shaun, Great Falls, MT
But i do agree, Van Morrisons version is indeed the best i've heard
- Daryl, Stoke, England
By far the best version of this song is by its writer, The Van Morrison. Thanks, Steve in St. Augustine.
- Steve, St. Augustine, FL
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