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Van Morrison and Me

How has Van Morrison’s music influenced people’s lives? Former hostage John McCarthy and Brian Keenan explore from Van’s home city of Belfast.

John McCarthy explores how Van Morrison’s music has influenced people’s lives.

Led by his personal connection with the music of Van Morrison, the former Beirut hostage John McCarthy explores the way the Irish musician affects the lives of other fans, musicians and writers around the world. He looks at Van’s lyrics and his ability to move people through his music at important junctures in their lives.

The programme includes an extended interview with Van Morrison in his home town of Belfast.

Van talks about growing up in a working class part of Belfast, how he created his seminal album Astral Weeks, what inspires his music and the challenges of performing into his '70s.

Author Ian Rankin describes how Van inspired him when he reached a cross-roads in his life as he started to become a famous writer.

Irish musician Glen Hansard performs Van songs in a Dublin pub for the programme and describes their power.

And, John McCarthy and fellow former hostage Brian Keenan describe how in the dark cells of their imprisonment, somehow they returned to the city where Brian and Van grew up to walk the streets of Cyprus Avenue and along the Beechie River.

(Photo: Belfast born, British musician Van Morrison performs at the 40th Jazzaldia festival in the Spanish Basque city of San Sebastian. Credit: Getty Images)

50 minutes

Last on

Sun 22 Jan 2017 20:06GMT


  • Sat 21 Jan 2017 14:06GMT
  • Sun 22 Jan 2017 20:06GMT