There’s a scene in Neil Jordan’s cult classic ‘Breakfast On Pluto’ in which a pre-’Peaky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy arrives in London from Belfast to the tune of Van Morrison’s ‘Madame George’. We hear Van sing “the click-clacking of the high heel shoes” as superstar Murphy, dressed in drag as Irish émigré Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden, enters the first day of the rest of her life. It’s a moment that stops time, with its gently-strummed acoustic guitar, plucked double bass and floating strings and woodwind, and is typical of how the music of ‘The Belfast Cowboy’ can define the shape and meaning of a film.


Van’s ‘Down to Joy’, from the hit Kenneth Branagh semi-autobiographical picture ‘Belfast’, has been nominated for ‘Best Original Song’ at the 2022 Academy Awards and it just goes to show how influential Morrison’s music continues to be. With millions of album sales for seminal long-players such as ‘Moondance’, ‘Avalon Sunset’ and ‘Days Like This’, his track record sits at the very top table and this latest feather in his cap confirms the continuing relevance of an artist who is best known for keeping moving.


Until recently, his most famous song from a film would probably be the definitive take of ‘Caravan’ he gave alongside The Band in the Martin Scorsese-directed ‘The Last Waltz’ in 1978. Taking to the stage in an eye-catching purple suit, Van stole the show from the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young with his soulful singing, masterful leading of the band and high kicks into middle distance. It really does have to be seen to be believed…


His first band Them are no strangers to the silver screen, with sixties hits ‘Gloria’ and ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ taking their place in ‘The Outsiders’ and ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ respectively. The film hits keep coming for Van’s sixties work, with a previously unreleased take on the classic ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ starring in ‘Born On The Fourth Of July’, before 1970’s ‘Moondance’ kept a famous scene company in the classic ‘An American Werewolf In London’.


As the 80s and 90s hit, Van’s more romantic songs seemed to take the temperature of Hollywood and his songs, such as ‘Wonderful Remark’ in the Robert De Niro-starring ‘King Of Comedy’ and ‘Days Like This’ in the award-winning ‘As Good As It Gets’, hit the cultural hot spot. But it was ‘Hungry For Your Love’, from the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning ‘An Officer And A Gentleman’, that gave Van one of his biggest hits of the latter part of his career.