Cyprus Avenue

Album: Astral Weeks (1968)
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Songfacts®:

  • Van Morrison grew up at 125 Hyndford Street in Belfast in a modest home with no bathroom (they used an outhouse). It was the working-class part of town, with a row of warehouses. Cyprus Avenue, a few blocks away, was a place for the wealthy and Van aspired to one day live there.

    Morrison used to walk up and down Cyprus Avenue when he wanted some time with his thoughts; this song expresses that state of tranquility he would find himself in along these walks.
  • A beloved song among hardcore fans, Morrison often closed concerts in the '70s with "Cyprus Avenue."
  • In 1991, Morrison released a song called "On Hyndford Street," which also reflects on his childhood. Cyprus Avenue gets a mention in those lyrics:

    Picking apples from the side of the tracks
    That spilled over from the gardens of the houses on Cyprus Avenue
  • No one knows who played the flute on this song or on "Beside You," also from the first day of the Astral Weeks recording sessions. Nobody at the recording session can remember the player, and no documentation has been found. Despite ample research into Astral Weeks, the mysterious flautist is still credited as “anonymous" to this day.
  • Morrison had a grandmother named Joy who lived in the area detailed in "Cyprus Avenue." She may have been the inspiration for "Madame George," which was first titled "Madame Joy."
  • On his 70th birthday, Morrison played two shows on Cyprus Avenue, but he didn't play this song at either performance.

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