Cat Stevens – Morning Has Broken

Morning Has Broken is a beautiful piece of music.

Stevens got the lyrics from a hymn book he found at a bookstore while looking for song ideas. It was a children’s hymn by Eleanor Farjeon, who also wrote a lot of children’s poetry.

Cat Stevens: “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.”

The song peaked at #6 on the Billboard 100, #9 in the UK, #3 in New  Zealand and #4 in Canada. It was on the album Teaser and the Firecat which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Album Charts in 1972.

From Songfacts

Children in England would 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 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 later became a member of Yes, played keyboards on this track. He claims he was never paid for his work.

This was Stevens’ first single that did better in America than in England. “Peace Train” and “Wild World” were not released in the US.

This song is set to a Scottish tune entitled “Bunessan,” a melody that was named for a small island town in Scotland. >>

Neil Diamond recorded this in 1992 for his Christmas album (yes, Diamond is Jewish). His version went to #36 in the UK.

Morning Has Broken

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 rain’s 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 ev’ry 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

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

21 thoughts on “Cat Stevens – Morning Has Broken”

  1. Underrated- I’d take him over about any of the singer-songwriters of the early 70’s- save Joni Mitchell. Morning Has Broken one of his best! Great selection.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Defintiely one of the better singles from the early-’70s and surprisingly oft-forgotten. Don’t think I’ve heard it on radio this century outside of Casey Kasem repeats, but it was a big hit. Possibly his Islamic conversion has soured radio (and many people) on him

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to admit something…I didn’t know the history of this song before yesterday. I was at a funeral yesterday and suddenly the church organist played this song…I thought wow…and then I looked it up and it makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m so sorry you needed to go to a funeral. I can’t think of a better song to be played for someone who has passed on. I knew it was not written by Cat and had traditional origins but didn’t know the rest.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We are singing this this semester! Love this arrangement 🙂 My Beginning Chorus is really enjoying some history on Cat, the folksy and spiritual relevance, and absolutely gorgeous melody! We will send you a recording someday 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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