Have I Told You Lately
"Have I Told You Lately" is a song written and recorded by Northern Irish singer and songwriter Van Morrison for his nineteenth studio album Avalon Sunset (1989). It is a romantic ballad that is often played at weddings, although it was originally written as a prayer.
|"Have I Told You Lately"|
|Single by Van Morrison|
|from the album Avalon Sunset|
|B-side||"Contacting My Angel"|
|Released||5 June 1989|
|Van Morrison singles chronology|
|Avalon Sunset track listing|
It was released as the album's lead single on 5 June 1989, and reached number 12 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It has become a popular cover song with many vocal and instrumental versions recorded by numerous artists and bands. In 1993, Rod Stewart's version charted at number five on both the US Billboard Hot 100 as well as on the UK Singles Chart.
Composed as a love ballad and built on the framework of "Someone Like You", it is preceded on Avalon Sunset by the song, "I'd Love to Write Another Song" proclaiming "In poetry I'd carve it well/ I'd even make it rhyme." Then, in the words of Brian Hinton what follows is:
One of the finest love songs of the century, which I remember devastated me when I first heard it, as it seemed both something never quite said before, and yet a song I felt I had known forever. Earthly love transmutes into that for God, just like in Dante, 'there's a love that's divine and it's yours and it's mine.' The morning sun has set by the end of the song, suggesting love shading into death, but subtly.
- "Have I Told You Lately" was listed as number 261 on the "All Time 885 Greatest Songs" list compiled in 2004 by Philadelphia radio station WXPN from listeners' votes.
- In August 2006, Van Morrison's original recording was voted number six on a list of the "Top 10 First Dance Wedding Songs", based on a poll of 1,300 DJs in the UK.
- Van Morrison's original version of this song was number 98 on the New York Daily News list of The 100 Greatest Love Songs, published on 12 February 2007.
- In October 2007, Van Morrison received a Million-Air certificate for over four million air plays of "Have I Told You Lately" from the prestigious BMI awards ceremony held in London, England.
Morrison chose "Have I Told You Lately" as one of the songs included on 1990s The Best of Van Morrison, his first greatest-hits album. It was also one of the songs on two of the compilation albums that were issued in 2007: Still on Top - The Greatest Hits contains a remastered version of this song and it was also featured on the compilation album, Van Morrison at the Movies - Soundtrack Hits. A live performance version was included on his 1994 album, A Night in San Francisco. In 1995 Morrison accompanied The Chieftains on a recording of the song for their album The Long Black Veil; this version was awarded the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. A jazz arrangement is featured on the 2018 album Morrison recorded with organist Joey DeFrancesco entitled You're Driving Me Crazy.
Filmed performances of the song include a version recorded in 1989 that was featured on Morrison's video album Van Morrison: The Concert the following year. In 1997 Morrison performed the song in a duet with Sinéad O'Connor on Late Show with David Letterman; this version was subsequently released on the Live on Letterman: Music from the Late Show CD.
Rod Stewart version
|"Have I Told You Lately (Live)"|
|Single by Rod Stewart|
|from the album Unplugged...and Seated|
|B-side||"Gasoline Alley (Live)"|
|Format||CD single, 7"|
|Studio||Universal Studios, Los Angeles, California|
|Rod Stewart singles chronology|
Rod Stewart covered the song for his album Vagabond Heart (1991). A live version from his album Unplugged...and Seated (1993) was released as a single, becoming a number-five hit in the US and the UK. This version also reached number four on the US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart, and spent five weeks at number one on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. It was certified gold by the RIAA in the US and sold 700,000 copies there. Another live version by Stewart from his 2013 performance at The Troubadour, West Hollywood was included on the deluxe edition of his album Time.
|U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary||33|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||41|
|Canada Top Singles (RPM)||1|
|Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)||1|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||59|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||41|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||5|
|US Billboard Hot 100||5|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||1|
|US Cash Box Top 100||2|
"Have I Told You Lately" has been performed by many unknown as well as many famous artists.
- Some of the other known covers of the song are by Kenny Rogers, Barbara Mandrell, Michael Ball, Della Reese, Engelbert Humperdinck and an instrumental cover by Floyd Cramer.
- Andy Williams covered it on his album I Don't Remember Ever Growing Up (2007) and performed a live version in 2007 at Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
- Thomas Anders covered the song for his swing album Songs Forever (2006).
- Barry Manilow included this song on his album The Greatest Songs of the Eighties, released in November 2008.
- Contemporary jazz/new-age pianist Chris Geith covered the song from his album Timeless World.
- Tejano group Mazz also recorded the song on their 1993 album Que Esperabas.
- In 1999, the Belgian band Clouseau released a Dutch language translation, "Heb ik ooit gezegd" (literally "Have I ever said"), that charted 16 weeks in the Flemish Ultratop 50 (peaking at number seven). The song also spent eight weeks on the Netherlands GfK Dutch Charts and peaked at number 68.
- A version in German, entitled Warum komm ich nur so selten dazu, was published in 2003 by the German soul singer Stefan Gwildis on his album Neues Spiel.
- In 2009 the German band Brings released a Kölsch version entitled "Han ich dir jesaht" on their album Poppe, Kaate, Danze. Emilio Navaira released a single of it from his album Life Is Good, which also included a version in Spanish. His version peaked at No. 62 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in 1996.
In the media
- "Have I Told You Lately" was featured in the 1996 film, One Fine Day, starring George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer.
- The song was played at the end of the Amanda Bynes 2003 film, What a Girl Wants, covered by Matt Acheson.
- The song was featured in the 2014 film 5 Flights Up, starring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton.
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