A Sense of Wonder

A Sense of Wonder is the fifteenth studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison released in 1985. On first release, original pressings had to be recalled when the W. B. Yeats estate refused to allow Morrison's musical version of the poem "Crazy Jane on God" to be included, as they believed his poems should only be set to classical music. Morrison substituted "If You Only Knew" for the Yeats' recording. (Later, perhaps due to Morrison's efforts, Yeats poems would be put to rock settings on a whole album).[1]

A Sense of Wonder
Studio album by
January 2008 (reissue)
GenreCeltic soul
LabelMercury (original release)
Polydor (all reissues since 1990)
ProducerVan Morrison
Van Morrison chronology
Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast
A Sense of Wonder
No Guru, No Method, No Teacher
Singles from A Sense of Wonder
  1. "A Sense of Wonder" b/w "Haunts of Ancient Peace"
    Released: October 1984
  2. "Tore Down a la Rimbaud" b/w "Haunts of Ancient Peace"
    Released: 1985

The 29 January 2008 reissued and remastered version of the album contains an alternative take of "Crazy Jane on God" and "A Sense of Wonder".[2]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic [3]
Robert ChristgauC+ [4]
Rolling Stone(not rated)[5]

Track listing

All songs written by Van Morrison unless stated otherwise.

Side one

  1. "Tore Down a la Rimbaud" – 4:09
  2. "Ancient of Days" – 3:37
  3. "Evening Meditation" – 4:13
  4. "The Master's Eyes" – 4:01
  5. "What Would I Do" (Ray Charles) – 5:10

Side two

  1. "A Sense of Wonder" – 7:09
  2. "Boffyflow and Spike"  – 3:06
  3. "If You Only Knew" (Mose Allison) – 2:56
  4. "Let the Slave (Incorporating the Price of Experience)" (William Blake, Adrian Mitchell, Kate Westbrook) – 5:26
  5. "A New Kind of Man" – 3:21

Bonus tracks (2008 CD reissue)

  1. "Crazy Jane on God" – 3:50 (Alternative take) (William Mathieu, Morrison, William Butler Yeats)
  2. "A Sense of Wonder" – 6:06 (Alternative take)




  • Producer and director: Van Morrison
  • Mixing: Jim Stern and Mick Glossop
  • Project coordination: John Walter
  • Sleeve design and art direction: Andrew Plewett
  • Cover art: Torchlight, London
  • Photography: Paul Cox
  • Horn arrangements: Pee Wee Ellis



UK Album Chart (United Kingdom)

Year Chart Position
1985 UK Album Chart 25

Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1985 The Billboard 200 61


Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1985 "Tore Down A La Rimbaud" Mainstream Rock Tracks 19


  1. Hinton, Celtic Crossroads, p. 246
  2. "Van Morrison Official Website - Tours, Music, Songs". Van Morrison. 6 October 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  3. "A Sense of Wonder - Van Morrison - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  4. "Robert Christgau: CG: Van Morrison". Robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  5. Puterbaugh, Parke; Puterbaugh, Parke (9 May 1985). "A Sense of Wonder". Roling Stone. Retrieved 8 December 2018.


  • Hinton, Brian (1997). Celtic Crossroads: The Art of Van Morrison, Sanctuary, ISBN 1-86074-169-X
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