Glossary entry for
brown-eyed girl

As background to the song title, here's a quote from Van from Into The Music, the 1975 Ritchie Yorke biography::
They put out publicity around that time to the fact that it was written specifically about somebody I knew, but it wasn't. Originally, it was called "Brown Skinned Girl" when I wrote the song. I just thought "Brown Eyed Girl" sounded better or something. I guess it really wouldn't have made much difference, but "Brown Skinned Girl" was the original title. After we'd recorded it, I looked at the tape box and didn't even notice that I'd changed the title. That's how spaced out it was. I looked at the box where I laid it down with my guitar and it said "Brown Eyed Girl" on the tape box. It's just one of those things that happen."

Art Siegel comments on the two versions of the lyrics (one with, and one without the line "makin' love in the green grass"):

There is a comment in the book about some radio stations having censored the song, with no further explanation. The removal of the "makin' love" line was an overdub by an engineer for censorship/airplay purposes that was done in 1967. I don't think either the original LP or single versions were censored, however, though I've seen a note that "some copies of the Blowin' Your Mind LP have the censored version. The 1973 LP T. B. Sheets, reissued from the Bang session material, contained the censored version without explanation, however.

The The Best Of Van Morrison CD from Mercury/Polygram in 1990 was released with the censored version - presumably a mistake by someone who didn't know there were two versions. Reports are that the remastered version of the CD has the original, uncensored version restored.

As a footnote, Van fan Hope Gatto sends this account from a recent trip to Ireland:

My cousin, Maurice, took me to a pub owned by his friend, Speedy Mullen, who just happens to be the husband of the "Brown-eyed Girl". As it turns out, Speedy grew up with Van in Belfast and when Speedy began dating this girl, Van was mesmorized by her eyes. She had mentioned that Van used to give her the creeps because he stared at her eyes so much. Van sent Speedy a demo of the song and asked if it was okay. Speedy, of course, said it was. Speedy's bar is called "Mullen's" and it is located in Downpatrick.
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