Mumbles ‘go to Iceland’

Van Morrison would like to tell you about his baby. You know, she comes around. She’s about 5′4″, and so on.

That’s all fine, but the pertinent part of Gloria by Them is where Morrison explains to us how to spell “Gloria”, about 45 seconds into the song. It’s considerate of him, because while most listeners either already know how to spell that name, or don’t care, or both, this man cares about the silent minority.

Unfortunately, his diction isn’t very good. If I were Van Morrison, and I don’t think I am, I would consider using a spelling alphabet for greater clarity – I understand that the NATO phonetic alphabet is the most widely used one, but any of them would do.

He spells it quite slowly the first time, which is good, but the last two letters, which are vowels, amalgamate together to form an unwieldy splodge. He has two more attempts, and both of these are equally worse than the first.

It sounds to me as though he is spelling “Gloy”, the name of a cheap non-toxic glue that has since been discontinued by Henkel. In fact, I am sure that this is exactly what he had in mind. Obviously, was been paid a generous amount of money to hypnotise consumers into buying watery glue.

He does it again, at which point the song has been playing for two minutes:

Not content with his blatant cahoots with a popular supermarket, Van Morrison is advertising glue. I’m amazed that this has gone unnoticed. The song has probably been played on the BBC and things, yet contains some dubious subliminal product placement that Ofcom will surely have some things to say about. What’s more, the CD costs £2.01 including delivery on, making this an early depressing example of paying to consume advertising, and almost giving the wretched car insurance mongoose and bulldog some rich cultural merit by comparison. No wonder Gloy glue has been discontinued – they must be embarrassed about this loss of integrity.

Later, I have another listen. Perhaps I was mistaken. I was definitely mistaken, in fact, because is fairly clear that Morrison is singing only three letters. The letters spell “gly”, which as we all know is an abbreviated name for the amino acid “glycine”. What’s that all about? Glycine has many uses, including as a food sweetener, as a buffering agent, and in the production of herbicides. How in keeping with the apparent sentiment of the song.

Oh, look, “Glycine” is also the name of a Swedish watch manufacturer. The “gly” abbreviation is specific to the amino acid, but let’s gloss over that. It is suddenly apparent that he wasn’t promoting adhesive, but something much worse, promoting a company that trumpets its having been founded in 1914, the year of the death of the last known wild passenger pigeon. That bird is now extinct, and apparently Van Morrison thinks that this is good. That is wrong. Sod Van Morrison, an enemy of the pigeons. Don’t forget that.