Music Monday: More Yeats to Music

For the last couple of “Music Mondays“, MontanaWriter has been featuring the poetry of W.B. Yeats set to music. 

Van Morrison has long been one of my favorite singers. Born in Northern Ireland, he brings an authentic sound and voice to Yeats’ words.

“Before the World Was Made” is classic Yeats in sound and tone and diction. Van Morrison’s version of the poem diminishes nothing of Yeats’ power while at the same time bringing an accessibility to a poet who can admittedly be quite intimidating.


Before the World Was Made
If I make the lashes dark 
And the eyes more bright 
And the lips more scarlet, 
Or ask if all be right 
From mirror after mirror, 
No vanity’s displayed: 
I’m looking for the face I had 
Before the world was made. 

What if I look upon a man 
As though on my beloved, 
And my blood be cold the while 
And my heart unmoved? 
Why should he think me cruel 
Or that he is betrayed? 
I’d have him love the thing that was 
Before the world was made. 


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