"Listen to the Lion" is a song featured on Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison's sixth album, Saint Dominic's Preview (1972). Its poetic musings and "bass-led shuffle" lead back to Astral Weeks territory.
"Listen to the Lion" was first recorded during the sessions for Morrison's third solo album Moondance in 1969 but not used. The longer eleven minute version that is featured on the Saint Dominic's Preview album was recorded during the 1971 sessions at the Columbia Studios in San Francisco and intended for the album Tupelo Honey.
Morrison plays guitar along with Ronnie Montrose. Connie Kay (drums on Astral Weeks) and Gary Mallaber (percussion and vibraphone on Moondance) are also featured players on this song. Morrison, Montrose and Boots Houston perform the back-up vocals. According to Ritchie Yorke, "Van used his voice so superbly in this track that it seemed to become part of the instrumentation... Van's schooling in the art of R&B repetition was never adapted so perfectly."
"Listen to the Lion" has been said to rank amongst Morrison's greatest work. "During the 11-minute voyage, he sings, shouts, improvises lines, delays and omits them, until he symbolically...