World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Rough God Goes Riding


Rough God Goes Riding

"Rough God Goes Riding"
Single by Van Morrison
from the album The Healing Game
A-side "Rough God Goes Riding"
B-side "At the End of the Day"/ "The Healing Game" (alternative take)
Released 1997
Format CD single
Recorded 1996
Genre Folk rock, Rock
Length 6:19
Label Polydor for Exile Productions Ltd.
Writer(s) Van Morrison
Producer(s) Van Morrison
Van Morrison singles chronology
"The Healing Game"
"Rough God Goes Riding"
"Precious Time"
The Healing Game track listing
"Rough God Goes Riding"
"Fire in the Belly"

"Rough God Goes Riding" is the opening song on the album, The Healing Game by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. The song reached #168 on the UK charts. One of the B-sides of the single, the alternative version of "The Healing Game", appears on all three editions of Morrison's 2007 compilation album Still on Top - The Greatest Hits. The other B-side "At the End of the Day" was released as a bonus track on the 2008 reissue of The Healing Game.


  • Song analysis 1
  • Appearance on other albums 2
  • Other performances 3
  • Personnel on original release 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Song analysis

According to biographer Clinton Heylin this song: "signalled a return to the religious and spiritual preoccupations that had driven Morrison's work throughout the eighties, the image of the Rough God being derived from Robin Williamson's 'Mr. Thomas' — recorded by Morrison for Inarticulate — in which 'the rough God goes riding with his shears', a reference to the avenging Messiah who shall return to wreak final judgement on Man."[1]

Greil Marcus wrote that "The deep burr of Morrison's voice buries the words, which cease to matter; you might not hear them until the tenth time you play the album, or long after that. 'It's when that rough god goes riding,' he sings, drawing the words both from Yeats and down in his chest, and you might never know it's the Angel of Death that has you in its embrace."[2]

Appearance on other albums

"Rough God Goes Riding" has been included as one of fourteen songs on the last disc of the limited 3 disc edition of the 2007 compilation album, Still on Top - The Greatest Hits.

On the 2015 album Duets: Re-working the Catalogue, Van Morrison performs the song as a duet with his daughter Shana Morrison.

Other performances

A performance of the song, featuring special guests Candy Dulfer and Fred Wesley, was shown on the 1998 Rockpalast Christmas special on German television.[3]

Personnel on original release


  1. ^ Heylin, Can You Feel the Silence?, p.473
  2. ^ Marcus, When That Rough God Goes Riding, p. 111
  3. ^


  • Heylin, Clinton (2003). Can You Feel the Silence? Van Morrison: A New Biography, Chicago Review Press ISBN 1-55652-542-7
  • Marcus, Greil (2010). When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison, Public Affairs, ISBN 978-1-58648-821-5

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.