“My mother sang and relatives would come around on a Saturday evening. They’d go to the club first and then come back and have a few drinks and sing songs. ‘I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen,’ ‘Danny Boy.’”
—Van Morrison

“The relationship between ostentatious displays of emotion, singing and drinking was established early on in Morrison’s mind. It was reinforced by his mother’s choice of songs, which ran the full gamut from sentimental to maudlin. Of the generation for whom the obviously trained singing of Irish tenor John McCormack represented the epitome of style, Violet [Morrison] would invariably by the first to suggest ‘I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen’ or ‘Danny Boy.’”
—Clinton Heylin

“OK, ‘the full gamut from sentimental to maudlin’ is a clever phrase. But I’ll thank you, sir, to avoid that sniffy tone in the future. Nobody likes a smug hipster.”