Van Morrison – “Into the Mystic” Lyrics Meaning

Photo of author
Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Van Morrison’s song “Into the Mystic” is more than just a beautiful melody. It’s a poetic journey of life, love, and longing for home. The lyrics speak to an exploration of the spiritual and natural world. Morrison’s message is about embracing the unknown, the “mystic”, as part of life’s grand adventure. The song is a love letter to an unspecified individual and, on a broader level, to nature itself.

The recurring theme of the foghorn symbolizes a yearning for home and stability, while the romantic imagery of ‘rocking the gypsy soul’ showcases a craving for freedom and spontaneity. Written in 1970, during a highly creative period in Morrison’s life, the song serves as a testament to his visionary lyrical style.

Wouldn’t it be exciting to delve deeper into this timeless track? Let’s embark on a lyrical journey, examining each line and its profound implications.

“Into the Mystic” Lyrics Meaning

“Into the Mystic” opens with the lines “We were born before the wind, Also, younger than the sun, ‘Ere the bonnie boat was won, As we sailed into the mystic.” Here, Morrison masterfully uses natural elements to represent the passage of time and the essence of life. The sailing imagery is a symbol of life’s journey, full of uncertainties yet filled with awe-inspiring discoveries.

The chorus: “Hark now, hear the sailors cry, Smell the sea and feel the sky, Let your soul and spirit fly, Into the mystic,” further emphasizes the connection between human existence and nature. The sailors’ cry could be seen as a universal human longing for exploration and understanding, while the invitation to ‘let your soul and spirit fly’ is a call to embrace life’s mysteries and complexities.

As the song progresses, we hear: “Yeah, when that fog horn blows, I will be coming home, Yeah, when that fog horn blows, I wanna hear it, I don’t have to fear it.” The foghorn, a device used to guide ships in low visibility, symbolizes guidance and safe return amidst life’s uncertainties. Morrison is essentially expressing the comforting allure of a familiar place or person amid life’s constant flux.

The refrain “And I wanna rock your gypsy soul, Just like way back in the days of old, Then magnificently we will float, Into the mystic,” is perhaps the most potent line in the song. Here, Morrison weaves romantic longing with a yearning for freedom and a simpler time. The ‘gypsy soul’ implies a spirit that is free, untamed, and adventurous, just like the relationship he seeks. The ‘magnificent float’ into the mystic suggests a harmonious surrender to the unknown, together.

The Story Behind “Into the Mystic”

Van Morrison penned “Into the Mystic” during his time in Woodstock, a period marked by heightened creativity and introspection. It was a phase where he was deeply exploring spirituality and mysticism, often reflecting these themes in his lyrics.

While Morrison never explicitly revealed who the song was about, the passionate undertones hint at an intense romantic relationship. The balance he strikes between earthly love and spiritual exploration makes the song timeless, speaking to listeners at multiple levels. This, combined with his state of creative transcendence at the time, resulted in a song that continues to touch souls decades after its creation.

From these insights, we can infer that the song encapsulates a pivotal moment in Morrison’s life, portraying his innermost feelings of love, longing, and spiritual awakening.