Vanlose Stairway

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"Vanlose Stairway"
Song by Van Morrison
from the album Beautiful Vision
Released January 1982
Genre Celtic
Length 4:10
Label Warner Bros. Records
Songwriter(s) Van Morrison
Producer(s) Van Morrison
Beautiful Vision track listing
  1. "Celtic Ray" - 4:11
  2. "Northern Muse (Solid Ground)" - 4:05
  3. "Dweller on the Threshold" - 4:49
  4. "Beautiful Vision" - 4:08
  5. "She Gives Me Religion" - 4:33
  6. "Cleaning Windows" - 4:43
  7. "Vanlose Stairway" - 4:10
  8. "Aryan Mist" - 4:00
  9. "Across the Bridge Where Angels Dwell" - 4:31
  10. "Scandinavia" - 6:41

"Vanlose Stairway" is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and included on his 1982 album, Beautiful Vision. It has remained a popular concert performance throughout Morrison's career and has become one of his most played songs.[1]

Recording and composition[edit]

It was recorded in the summer of 1981 at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California.[2]

Morrison wrote the song about his Danish girlfriend, Ulla Munch, from Vanløse district in Copenhagen who lived on the fourth floor of an apartment building with no lift.[1][3] Clinton Heylin remarks..."he turned this mundane set of stairs in an uninspiring block of flats into a 'Stairway that reaches up to the moon/And it comes right you'.[4] Peter Mills, author of the Morrison biography Hymns to the Silence, refers to "Vanlose Stairway" as this "dark horse of a song".[1]

The singer also includes the lines "Send me your Pillow" which referenced bluesman John Lee Hooker's influence on his music.[5]

Live performances[edit]

The song has been performed by Morrison over seven hundred times, making it the fourth most played song at his concerts.[6] He performed a baroque rendition of this song with the Dallas Jazz Orchestra at the 1989 Montreux Jazz Festival.[7]

Other releases[edit]

A live performance version of "Vanlose Stairway" is included on the Morrison's 1984 album, Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast. Another live version but as a medley appears on the 1994 album, A Night in San Francisco. It was remastered and released again on the 2007 compilation album, Still on Top - The Greatest Hits.

Personnel on original release[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Barton, Laura (2011-03-31). "Hail, Hail, Rock'n'Roll". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  2. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence?, pp. 523-524
  3. ^ Rogan, No Surrender, p.342
  4. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence?, p.371
  5. ^ Janovitz, Bill. "allmusic review: Vanlose Stairway". Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  6. ^ "Top played songs". Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  7. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence, p.465


External links[edit]