Sweet Thing is a folk rock song by singer Van Morrison. It featured on Morrison’s second album, Astral Weeks (1968).
Before exploring the Sweet Thing lyrics Van Morrison meaning, you should know the intent behind its title.
Title – What does it mean?
Sweet Thing can refer to two things – the love of your life or the dream of your passions. Either way, you need both passion and love to live a fulfilling life.
Now that the title of the song has been explained, it is time to understand Sweet Thing lyrics Van Morrison meaning.
Verse 1 – What does it mean?
And I will stroll the merry way and jump the hedges first
And I will drink the clear clean water for to quench my thirst
The narrator of this song has recently found love. This new experience has brought great happiness to him. Under its powerful impact, the narrator looks forward to a bright future full of promises.
These lines draw inspiration from nature. Listeners are invited to visualize a beautiful green landscape with flowers and shrubs. Lovely streams and rivers flow through these enchanted lands. They nourish both the imagined scenery and the ears of the listeners alike.
Inspired by love, the narrator is now prepared to “jump the hedges” and move forward to more things in life. Finally, his “thirst” for joy and completion can been quenched by the “clear clean water”. In this context, “clear clean water” could refer to the lips of his lover. Just like in fairy tales, kissing the love of his life exalts the narrator.
And I shall watch the ferry-boats, and they’ll get high
On a bluer ocean against tomorrow’s sky
Not only will this newfound love instill the narrator with happiness, it will also take him places in life. The visuals of “ferry boats” and “bluer ocean” symbolize personal ambition and desire. Everyone wants to accomplish something in their lives. Unfortunately, most never get enough encouragement to pursue their dreams.
But the narrator got lucky. With the power of love he will find the strength to maneuver through the seemingly endless ocean to fulfil his dreams. The narrator’s lover will continue to inspire him to reach for the stars and support him whenever he faces defeat. The fun of chasing your dreams is in both – the highs and the lows.
And I will never grow so old again
And I will walk and talk
In gardens all wet with rain
When you are working towards fulfilling your dreams, you find yourself in a good mood most of the time. The narrator can relate to this a lot. This has been made possible with the inspiration and support from his lady love.
The narrator finds himself filled with an endless energy. It keeps him going and working hard. Even when he is physically tired, his mind and soul are as fresh as ever. The narrator feels invincible, as if he “will never grow so old again”.
On his path to success, the narrator will make great friends and teammates. After all, you cannot do everything on your own. These friends and partners will accompany him on the journey of realizing his dreams. They will “walk and talk” together.
The “garden” in these lines could refer to the narrator’s accomplishments. With his lover on his side, the narrator will work hard and maintain a steady supply of metaphoric “rain”. This rain will ensure that his garden is well fed and bears the most beautiful flowers and fruits, the fruits of his labor.
Chorus 1 – What does it mean?
Oh, sweet thing, sweet thing
Oh my, my, my, my, my sweet thing
The narrator now celebrates his love and success. In that context, “sweet thing” refers to both the lover (his sweetheart) and the narrator’s accomplishments (his goals and dreams).
One is not mutually exclusive of the other. Only when you have love and encouragement from the ones you love can you hope to take risks and reach for the stars.
The chorus makes the Sweet Thing lyrics Van Morrison meaning truly shine.
Verse 2 – What does it mean?
And I shall drive my chariot down your streets and cry
Hey, it’s me, I’m dynamite, and I don’t know why
The mood of celebration continues with these lines. As the narrator goes on winning in life, the reasons to proclaim victory and rejoice increase. No matter how modest you may be, at some point you would like to share the stories of your conquests and wisdom with the world. The narrator is no different. He wants to “drive my chariot” and exclaim to the world that he is “dynamite”, meaning, a force to reckon with.
These lines can also describe the powerful feelings of first love, especially when those feelings are reciprocated by the love interest. The joy of young love makes you feel invincible and on top of the world. You cannot help but boast about it to everyone.
And you shall take me strongly in your arms again
And I will not remember that I ever felt the pain
The magic of first love is so potent that you feel undefeatable. Everything seems possible, all dreams seem reachable. Even if you fall and lose, you find comfort in the one whom you love. You know that your lover will hold you “strongly in your arms” and encourage you to try again.
This support will make you feel like a new person, who can overcome any obstacle and pain. Your lover becomes the antidote to any poison the world might hurl at you.
We shall walk and talk in gardens all misty wet
All misty wet with rain down
And I will never, never, never grow so old again
The lasting support of love will continue to roll in victories. The narrator’s “garden” will go on to flourish through summer, mist and rain. The imagery of “mist” could also be a comment on the future’s unpredictability. Regardless of how uncertain the future may seem, the narrator believes he will make it with the love and support of his lover.
Verse 3 – What does it mean?
And I will raise my hand up into the night time sky
And count the stars that’s shining in your eye
Dreams can be a tricky topic. If not kept under control, they can overwhelm the dreamer. If unchecked, there could come a point in time when the dreamer harbors countless dreams but never realizes a single one. But the narrator will not make that mistake. He will “count the stars” shining in his lover’s eyes. This means he will be wise in choosing what he should put his time and effort into.
And just to dig it all an’ not to wonder, that’s just fine
And I’ll be satisfied not to read in between the lines
However, once he has chosen which dreams to pursue he will not be paranoid and imagine negative scenarios of not accomplishing them. He will focus on what he can do and not on what can go wrong. This will inspire him to put his energy into his work and love.
And I will walk and talk in gardens all wet with rain
And I will never, ever, ever, ever grow so old again
If he sticks to the right path of hard work, love and optimism, the narrator’s garden will blossom forever. Life will become a stage for victories and celebrations.
Outro – What does it mean?
Oh sweet thing
Oh sweet thing
Sugar-baby, sugar-baby, sugar-baby
With your champagne eyes
And your saint-like smile
At the end of the day, the narrator has his lover to thank for inspiring him. It is she who seduced him with her “champagne eyes” to get drunk with hard work and perseverance. Her “saint-like smile” gave him the motivation to pull through hard times.
Hope you have now understood the Sweet Thing lyrics Van Morrison meaning.
At a glance the Sweet Thing lyrics Van Morrison meaning seems to be about love. But on closer inspection you will find that the song is about pursuing your dreams through hard work and support.