Morning Has Broken – Just Vocals – Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam)

Morning Has Broken – Just Vocals – Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam)

A beautiful hymn sung by Yusuf Islam (originally sung when he was known as  Cat Stevens before he became muslim).

  • Stevens got the lyrics from a hymn book he found at a bookstore while looking for (public domain) song ideas. It was a children’s hymn by Eleanor Farjeon, who also wrote a lot of children’s poetry. Stevens explained on The Chris Isaak Hour: “I accidentally fell upon the song when I was going through a slightly dry period and I needed another song or two for Teaser And The Firecat. I came across this hymn book, found this one song, and thought, This is good. I put the chords to it and then it started becoming associated with me.”
  • Children in England, where Stevens grew up and attended church, could have heard Farjeon’s hymn in primary school. Scottish children sang the old Gaelic hymn, “Child in a manger, Infant of Mary” to this tune. This hymn, which is based on a melody called “Bunessan” (named for a small island town in Scotland), predated “Morning” and was written in Gaelic by Mary MacDonald before being translated into English. For Scottish children it was a Christmas hymn.
  • Rick Wakeman, who was a session musician at the time, played the piano on this track, marking the first time he appeared on a hit single. He joined Yes a short time later.
  • In America, if you heard a British singer-songwriter on the radio in the early ’70s, it was most likely an ex-Beatle. If not, it was probably Cat Stevens.
  • In 1967, when he was 18, Stevens had a string of hits in the UK that got little notice in America, but he caught on in 1971 with the hit singles “Wild World” and “Peace Train.” With demand for his back catalog, four of his albums charted in 1971, and that momentum carried into 1972 with “Morning Has Broken,” which went to #6. He remained one of the most popular solo artists in the US until 1977, when he converted to Islam and took the name Yusuf Islam.
  • He released one more album as Cat Stevens in 1978, but then stopped making secular music. In the late ’90s, he started re-issuing and performing his Cat Stevens songs again – at least the ones that jibed with his faith (no “I’m Gonna Get Me A Gun”). Morning Has Broken,” despite being based on a Christian hymn, is one he embraced.

This version here, has been re-edited, so it involves only vocals, without instruments.

see below for lyrics.

Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world
 
Sweet the rains new fall, sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass
 
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day
 
Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world
 
 

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