Don Mclean & Vincent’s Van Gogh’s Starry Starry Night
Don Mclean and Vincent Van Gogh. A Look at how these two artists found each other and became entwined together forever.
Sometimes in life we don’t need to know a person inside out to understand what they are all about. It’s a knowing or a feeling that we have inside that we go with that leads us to creating a piece of work that marries together people. If Vincent Van Gogh was around now, I am sure that he would be filled with appreciation and admiration for Don Mclean who in this beautiful song captures what Vincent really felt.
Don McLean wrote “Vincent” in his apartment full of antiques. The inspiration came to him one morning while he was sitting on the veranda looking at a book about Vincent Van Gogh. As he studied a print of Van Gogh’s painting “Starry Night,” he realized that a song could be written about the artist through the painting. “The more I thought about it, the more interesting and challenging the idea became. I put down the book and picked up my guitar, which was never far away, and started fiddling around, trying to get a handle on this idea, while the print of “Starry Night” stared up at me. Looking at the picture, I realized that the essence of the artist’s life is his art. And so, I let the painting write the song for me. Everyone is familiar with that painting.”
Van Gogh painted “Starry Night” during one of the most difficult periods of his life, while he was locked up in an asylum at Saint Remy. He had to paint the scene from memory, not outdoors as he preferred. Van Gogh mentioned “Starry Night” only twice in his letters to his brother, Theo. It is therefore one of the more mysterious and intriguing Van Gogh compositions.
Van Gogh has always struck me as a person, that if you could go back in time and meet anyone he would be the one. After seeing his paintings and listening and reading what he writes, you would just want to give him a massive hug and kiss on the cheek and tell him “Vincent you are a wonderful man and don’t you ever forget that” “Your passion for life stands out and you care deeply about people” “We all now see the true you and are grateful that you finally showed us that fire that burns within”
Vincent wrote many things and here are a few quotes by him.
Those who love much, do much and accomplish much, and whatever is done with love is done well…. Love is the best and noblest thing in the human heart, especially when it is tested by life as gold is tested by fire. Happy is he who has loved much, and although he may have wavered and doubted, he has kept that divine spark alive and returned to what was in the beginning and ever shall be.
“So what do you want? Does what happens inside show on the outside? There is such a great fire in one’s soul, and yet nobody ever comes to warm themselves there, and passersby see nothing but a little smoke coming from the top of the chimney, and go on their way.”
It is possible that everything will get better after it has all seemed to go wrong. I am not counting on it, it may never happen, but if there should be a change for the better I should regard that as a gain, I should rejoice, I should say, at last! So there was something after all!