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Detroit Lions Week 3 Song of the Game: “Back on Top” by Van Morrison

A muted bit of bright feeling.

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NFL: Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With 11 months since the Detroit Lions posted a victory, I came to an unearthly conclusion: I don’t remember how to do anything positive in music.

What the hell was the last artist I posted here? Brown Bird? What other music do I even have that is bright-eyed, beautiful and shines hopeful? No sir. I listen to music that speaks of eldritch horrors, gloom-spoke horizons and introspection. I have a face mask in this pandemic featuring a glowering satanic cat.

So imagine my shock, shock, when the Lions pulled this one out of their rumps. What are we even going to do here?

Such celebration must be muted. We mustn’t let the world believe that there is true hope here. The Lions won a damn game, the first in nearly a year, but the cracks, the faults were there. Last second heroics, three takeaways from a floundering Kyler Murray, things of that nature.

So Song of the Game will be muted here. Smiling, charming, a little lighter in its step, but nevertheless down to earth.

Detroit Lions Week 3 Song of the Game: “Back on Top” by Van Morrison

Just how I get there will be anybody’s guess
With all the so called trappings of success
Left all the deadbeats on the top of the hill
Too busy raisin’ Cain
I’m back on the street again
I’m back on the top again

Van Morrison was the last concert I got to see before this pandemic hit. Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, filled with all the usual clientele for a Vegas show on the strip—old, weary, money burning in pockets, very fancy suits.

But what impressed me was this guy did a full set, practically an hour, his third of the day and took no breaks whatsoever. George Ivan Morrison (did you know the “Van” comes from Ivan?) just powered right through.

I don’t think there’s a lesson there for the Lions, but there could be.

Again, to be very clear, let’s be a little loose on where the “top” is here, and if the Lions are “back” there. The Lions are staring down the Saints, then a 12-week stretch with no bye week. Nothing in this game screamed that there was a turnaround looming for this team, although I won’t count out the possibility.

Nevertheless, when you’ve had a long streak of bad luck like that, something mellow and positive like Morrison’s words might be just what you’re feeling. You’re not on the top, but a small win feels like a river to a thirsty man.

Anyway, you should watch more of Jack Fox’s punts and feel good about things.

Song of the Game is an opportunity for our staff to express their weekly feelings of being a Lions fan, but through the art of song. Each week, we’ll provide a song that perfectly encapsulates the Lions’ game and how we experienced it. By the end of the year, we’ll have a full Spotify playlist telling the story of the 2019 Detroit Lions season.

You can listen to previous year’s soundtracks right here: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Here’s this year’s playlist:

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.