Inarticulate Speech of the Heart

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Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
Studio album by Van Morrison
Released March, 1983
Reissued June 2008
Recorded 1982 at The Town House, London; The Record Plant and Harbour Sound, Sausalito, California; Tres Virgos, San Rafael, California and Lombard Sound Studios, Dublin
Genre Celtic, jazz, new age
Length 47:10
Label Mercury (UK)
Warner Bros. (USA)
Producer Van Morrison
Van Morrison chronology
Beautiful Vision
Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast
Singles from Inarticulate Speech of the Heart
  1. "Cry for Home" b/w "Summertime in England"
    Released: February 1983
  2. "Celtic Swing" b/w "Mr. Thomas"
    Released: May 1983
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B−[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[3]

Inarticulate Speech of the Heart is the fourteenth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1983 (see 1983 in music). Morrison said he arrived at the title from a Shavian saying: "that idea of communicating with as little articulation as possible, at the same time being emotionally articulate". As his last album for Warner Bros. Records, he decided to do an album of mostly instrumentals. As he explained in 1984, "Sometimes when I'm playing something, I'm just sort of humming along with it, and that's got a different vibration than an actual song. So the instrumentals just come from trying to get that form of expression, which is not the same as writing a song."[4]

Although not expanded upon, of note is that a special thanks is given to L. Ron Hubbard in the liner notes.

The June, 2008 re-issued and re-mastered version of the album contains alternative takes of "Cry for Home" and "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart No. 2".[5]

The track "Celtic Swing" made an appearance over the final scenes of Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones.


The recording sessions took place in California, Dublin, Ireland and a series of marathon sessions at The Town House in London. Morrison played piano, guitar and saxophone on these sessions.[6] Two Irish musicians played on the album (Arty McGlynn and Davy Spillane) and overall the music had a strong Celtic colouring. Four of the songs were instrumentals.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Van Morrison.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Higher than the World" – 3:42
  2. "Connswater" – 4:09
  3. "River of Time" – 3:02
  4. "Celtic Swing" – 5:03
  5. "Rave On, John Donne" – 5:12

Side two[edit]

  1. "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart No. 1" – 4:53
  2. "Irish Heartbeat" – 4:40
  3. "The Street Only Knew Your Name" – 3:36
  4. "Cry for Home" – 3:44
  5. "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart No. 2" – 3:53
  6. "September Night" – 5:16

Bonus tracks (2008 CD reissue)[edit]

  1. "Cry for Home" - 3:49 (alternate take)
  2. "Inarticulate Speech of the Heart No. 2" - 4:48 (alternate take)



Album - Billboard

Year Chart Position
1983 Pop Albums 116

Album - UK Album Chart

Year Chart Position
1983 UK Album Chart 24[8]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ Rolling Stone review
  4. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence?, p. 376-377
  5. ^ Van Morrison Official Website
  6. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence. p.377
  7. ^ Hinton, Celtic Crossroads, p. 239
  8. ^ Chart Stats: Van Morrison