Vincent (Starry Starry Night)

I don’t know much about art to really tell a person why I like it.  I think it’s something about certain pieces of art being fried into our brains that make me like it.  I don’t know.  I do however know why I like certain architecture in buildings – like Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs – because they are very cool looking buildings.  I also know why I enjoy certain musicians and there songs – because it sounds cool.  Paintings however is something I can’t understand.  I like looking at them and have a true appreciation for them but for the life of me can’t figure out what it is I like about the paintings.

Over the years I have always enjoyed Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings.  I haven’t seen many, just 3 that I’m aware of: Starry Night, Self Portrait, and the self portrait he painted after he cut off his ear. 

Don McLean is one of my favorite singers from the 1970s.  He knew how to write some very inspirational songs.  “American Pie” was about the day when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper died in that plane crash in Iowa on February 03,1959.  Now that day is commonly referred to “the day the music died.”  In 1971 after reading a book based on Vincent Van Gogh he wrote a song titled “Vincent” which is also commonly titled “Starry Starry Night” which is one of my favorite songs.  It was a number one in the UK and a number 12 in the US.  I have heard it many times over the years but it wasn’t until recently that I learned what the song was about.  When I learned what the song was about it gave me a new appreciation for the song and for the painting. 

“Vincent (Starry Starry Night)” by Don McLean

Starry, starry night.
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer’s day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they’ll listen now.

Starry, starry night.
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,
Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue.
Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,
Weathered faces lined in pain,
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they’ll listen now.

For they could not love you,
But still your love was true.
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night,
You took your life, as lovers often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one
As beautiful as you.

Starry, starry night.
Portraits hung in empty halls,
Frameless head on nameless walls,
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget.
Like the strangers that you’ve met,
The ragged men in the ragged clothes,
The silver thorn of bloody rose,
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set them free.
They would not listen, they’re not listening still.
Perhaps they never will…

Starry Night - Van GoghSelf Portrait - Van GoghSelf Portrait Ear - Van Gogh

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