Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Morning Has Broken (Eleanor Farjeon, *not* Cat Stevens!)

This is one of the hymns we sang in church this past Sunday... and I was stunned to find it was *not* written by Cat Stevens, after all these years of believing otherwise - I wonder how many other people know this?!?

A bit of googling unearthed the following from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"Morning Has Broken" was an obscure Christian hymn that became widely known when Cat Stevens included it on his 1971 best-selling album Teaser and the Firecat. It became a signature song for Stevens. The lyrics were written by Eleanor Farjeon in 1931 and is found in the hymnals of many denominations. The tune to which it is normally sung is called "Bunessan", based upon a Scottish Gaelic traditional melody. Before Farjeon's words, it was used as a Christmas carol which began "Child in the manger, Infant of Mary", translated from the Gaelic lyrics written by Mary MacDonald. The English-language Roman Catholic hymnal also uses the tune for the hymn "This Day God Gives Me".

Writing credit for "Morning Has Broken" has often been erroneously attributed to Stevens because of his version of the song which brought it out of obscurity. The familiar piano arrangement on Stevens' album was performed by Rick Wakeman, a classically trained keyboardist with the English progressive rock band Yes. Wakeman was not credited with nor paid for his contribution at the time of the recording; years later Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, acknowledged Wakeman's contribution and paid him. In 2000, Wakeman released an instrumental version of "Morning Has Broken" on an album of the same title. Although Stevens is credited with the musical arrangement, the familiar piano intro and general structure of the piece was heard already on Floyd Cramer's 1961 album Last Date. The song has been covered by numerous artists, including Judy Collins, Floyd Cramer (twice), Dana, Neil Diamond, Art Garfunkel, Nana Mouskouri, Aaron Neville, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and Roger Whittaker."

For M... <3

POEM: Morning Poem by Mary Oliver

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange
sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging ---

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted ---

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

QUOTE: "I am comforted by life's stability, by earth's unchangeableness. What has seemed new and frightening assumes its place in the unfolding of knowledge. It is good to know our universe. What is new is only new to us." ~ Pearl S. Buck


  1. I am ashamed to admit that if it weren't for seeing the link on Catherine's blog, I wouldn't have known this was dedicated to little ol' me! *blush* Thank you, Susan, reading it today means as much to me had I caught it "live" a couple of months ago. xoxoxoxo

  2. Hey, M ~

    No worries whatsoever - I can't remember the specific issue giving you heartache over a year ago (July *2007*)... but I figured an extra boost of well-wishes might help, couldn't hurt... <3

  3. Oh, my goodness! LOL I wonder myself about the specific heartache back then left alone, right? ;-)