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MORNING HAS BROKEN - CAT STEVENS - COVER

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Uploaded on Dec 13, 2008

MORNING HAS BROKEN - CAT STEVENS - COVER

"Morning Has Broken" is a favorite and well-known Christian hymn, especially popular in children's services. Pop and folk singer Cat Stevens included an acoustic version on his 1971 album Teaser and the Firecat. It became a signature song for Stevens when it reached number 6 on the US pop chart and #1 on the US adult contemporary chart in 1972.[1]

The hymn originally appeared in the second edition of Songs of Praise (published in 1931), to the tune "Bunessan", arranged by the composer Martin Shaw. In Songs of Praise Discussed, the editor, Percy Dearmer, explains that, as there was need for a hymn to give thanks for each day, English poet and children's author Eleanor Farjeon had been "asked to make a poem to fit the lovely gaelic tune". The original poem can be found in the anthology Children's Bells, under Farjeon's original title, "A Morning Song (For the First Day of Spring)", published by Oxford University Press in 1957.

"Bunessan" had been found in L. McBean's Songs and Hymns of the Gael, published in 1900.[2] Before Farjeon's words, the tune was used as a Christmas carol, which began "Child in the manger, Infant of Mary", translated from the Gaelic lyrics written by Mary MacDonald.[3] 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 occasionally been erroneously attributed to Stevens, who popularized the song abroad. The familiar piano arrangement on Stevens' album was performed by Rick Wakeman, a classically trained keyboardist with the English progressive rock band Yes. In 2000, Wakeman released an instrumental version of "Morning Has Broken" on an album of the same title. That same year, he gave an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live in which he said he had agreed to perform on the Cat Stevens track for £10 and was "shattered" to be omitted from the credits, adding that he never received the money either.

The familiar piano intro and general structure of the piece may be attributed to Stevens or to Wakeman. Although some sources report that the song was released on Floyd Cramer's 1961 album Last Date, discographies of the artist demonstrate that the song is not on that album. In fact, Cramer did not record the song until 1972, when he used the arrangement that he attributed to Cat Stevens.[4]

The song has been recorded by numerous other artists, including Judy Collins, Michael Card, Floyd Cramer (twice), Dana,Neil Diamond, Art Garfunkel, Joe Longthorne, Nana Mouskouri, Aaron Neville, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, Sister Janet Mead, Roger Whittaker and Ellen Greene recently on Pushing Daisies.

In November 2008, the Teaser and the Firecat CD was re-issued in a deluxe version which includes the original demo of Morning Has Broken.

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