Morning has (never) broken


 

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 word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dew fall, 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 re-creation 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 word

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From songfacts.com:  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.  Stevens explained: “I accidentally fell upon the song when I was going through a slightly dry period … 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 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.  This song is set to a Scottish tune entitled “Bunessan,” a melody that was named for a small island town in Scotland.

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