Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Story Songs: Vincent (Starry Starry Night)

I'm not going to give any interpretations to Don McLean's  "Vincent," also known as "Starry Starry Night," a song about the tragic life of famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.

What I love about this song are the sentimental thoughts about this great artist and the word pictures that McLean so eloquently expresses.

Consider this:

"Shadows on the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land."

and this:

"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."

There are references to Van Gogh and his paintings throughout the song. This McLean website provides a history and inspiration for his timeless lyrics. 

"Vincent" reached No. 6 in the United States and No. 1 in the United Kingdom in 1972. 

McLean first gained fame with the unforgettable "American Pie," a No. 1 tune in 1972. He also penned other memorable songs such as "And I Love You So" and "Castles in the Air." His songs have been covered by such luminaries as Elvis Presley, Helen Reddy, Josh Groban, George Michael, and Perry Como.

Still an active performer, the 67-year-old McLean was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.

"Vincent" lyrics


  1. What a wide range of entertainers. McClain was /is a very memorable writer and performer.

    1. He is a very talented songwriter and a pretty good singer as well, Sandie.