Moonshine Whiskey

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"Moonshine Whiskey"
Song by Van Morrison from the album Tupelo Honey
Released October 1971
Recorded Wally Heider Studios, San Francisco
Spring 1971
Genre Country rock, soul
Length 6:48
Label Warner Bros. Records
Writer(s) Van Morrison
Producer(s) Van Morrison
Ted Templeman
Tupelo Honey track listing
  1. "Wild Night" – 3:33
  2. "(Straight to Your Heart) Like a Cannonball" – 3:43
  3. "Old Old Woodstock" – 4:17
  4. "Starting a New Life" – 2:10
  5. "You're My Woman" – 6:44
  6. "Tupelo Honey" – 6:54
  7. "I Wanna Roo You" (Scottish Derivative) – 3:27
  8. "When That Evening Sun Goes Down" – 3:06
  9. "Moonshine Whiskey" – 6:48

"Moonshine Whiskey" is a song written by singer-songwriter, Van Morrison and is the concluding track of his 1971 album, Tupelo Honey.

It was a popular tune with Morrison in the 1970s and he regularly performed it in concert. Brian Hinton writes that Morrison later admitted that he had written this song "for Janis Joplin or something" but Hinton goes on to say "though it is not autobiographical in the same way as Leonard Cohen's 'Chelsea Hotel Number Two'".[1]

In Tupelo Honey's Rolling Stone review Jon Landau says the song "is a joyful statement about the existence and continuation of love and the stability it offers."[2]

The song contains references to trains, railroads and the countryside, themes that Morrison has returned to throughout his career, as well as subjects country blues artists Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams often used.[3]


The song contains the two main genres Morrison used on Tupelo Honey: country rock and soul. The introduction features both electric and steel guitars, in what Allmusic reviewer Tom Maginnis calls "a halting country vamp".[4] The song changes tempo many times in its six and a half minute duration, changing from a fast 4/4 time to a slow 6/8 sauteuse waltz and back to 4/4 time on various occasions.[5] Morrison uses this form of distinct movements within songs later in his career, most prominently on the album Common One.[3] Tom Maginnis concludes that at the end of the song "the arrangement kicks into a full-scale gospel rave-up complete with call and response backing vocal, group handclaps, pumping piano, and blaring horns all at breakneck speeds before pulling up to a slamming halt."[4]

Filmed performances[edit]



  1. ^ Hinton, Celtic Crossroads, p.137
  2. ^ Landau, John (1971-11-25). "RS review: Tupelo Honey". Retrieved 2009-02-07. 
  3. ^ a b Mills, Hymns to the Silence, p.24
  4. ^ a b Maginnis, Tom. "Moonshine Whiskey at Allmusic". Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  5. ^ Van Morrison Anthology, pp.54-59
  6. ^ Collis. Inarticulate Speech of the Heart. p.234
  7. ^ Collis. Inarticulate Speech of the Heart. p.236
  8. ^ "Rick Shlosser - About". Retrieved 2010-06-07. 


External links[edit]