Song Lyric Sunday — Gospel

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Jim Adams has given us “gospel” music, which is, according to Wikipedia, a traditional genre of Christian music, and a cornerstone of Christian media. I’m not Christian and I don’t follow or know much about gospel music. So I Googled popular gospel songs and found one in particular that resonated with me, “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens.

“Morning Has Broken” is a Christian hymn first published in 1931. It has words by English author Eleanor Farjeon and was inspired by the village of Alfriston in East Sussex, then set to a traditional Scottish Gaelic tune, “Bunessan.” It is often sung in children’s services and in funeral services. I don’t know if a hymn put to music is gospel music per se, but it’s gotta be close, right?

English pop musician and folk singer Cat Stevens included a version on his 1971 album Teaser and the Firecat. The song became identified with Stevens due to the popularity of this recording. It reached number 6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on the U.S. easy listening chart in 1972.

The lyrics to “Morning Has Broken” refer to the book of Genesis in the Bible, where God creates Earth on the “first morning.” Stevens discovered the hymn in a hymn book he found at a bookstore while looking for song ideas. He said, “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.”

Cat Stevens had a string of hits in the U.S. in 1971 with songs like “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 U.S. until 1977, when he converted to Islam and took the name Yusuf Islam.

Rick Wakeman, who was a session musician at the time, played the piano on this album track, marking the first time he appeared on a hit single. He joined the band Yes a short time later.

Here are the lyrics to “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 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 Word

18 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Gospel

  1. Carol anne April 30, 2023 / 3:40 am

    I’m not a religious person, but I do like this hymn!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor April 30, 2023 / 6:04 am

    A very peaceful song and a nice choice for the theme Fandango.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marleen May 12, 2023 / 4:45 pm

    “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” ~ 1962

    Beyonce’ — Don’t Hurt Yourself

    Liked by 1 person

  4. leigha66 May 16, 2023 / 9:45 pm

    I have never really paid much attention to the lyrics of this song… amazing what I missed. Good choice!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen May 20, 2023 / 3:37 pm

    I internally requested that my mind do some housekeeping, in the last couple days, and remember a particular musician as well as the album by her that I had in the past (lost it when I gave away an old car). As of today, my mind has complied (and I will be re-obtaining the one album — which album is not represented in this video).

    London 1979 (five songs live) Rickie Lee Jones

    I’ve never seen her live, and the album I
    enjoyed was just a single compact disk

    the sermon on exposition boulevard

    I did not have this deluxe edition >

    Deluxe includes 5.1 version
    and 40 minute of making
    the record, early 2000s

    Limited Edition SACD

    Track Listings
    Disc: 1
    1 Nobody Knows My Name
    2 Gethsemane
    3 Falling Up
    4 Lamp Of My Body
    5 It Hurts
    6 Where I Like It Best
    7 Tried To Be A Man
    8 Circle In The Sand
    9 Donkey Ride
    10 7th Day
    11 Elvis Cadillac
    12 Road To Emmaus
    13 I Was There
    Disc: 2
    1 How It All Began
    2 Turn It Down
    3 Late Night Song
    4 Threat Of The Bomb
    5 Tried To Be A Man
    6 The Mystery Box
    7 It Hurts
    8 I Have Another Day
    9 Caught Me In It’s Ray
    10 Haven’t Had Anything To Eat Today
    11 I Was There
    12 CreditsBonus MP3s for download to MP3 player

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen May 20, 2023 / 3:44 pm

      If you ask Alexa to play one of these songs by name and “by Rickie Lee Jones” — and Alexa replies that “she” is shuffling that song and similar songs — so far, all the mix of songs that follow upon the one selected are classic rock. When I asked for the album to be played, that was a total no-go.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 20, 2023 / 10:44 pm

      I’m going to have to Google her. What ever happened to her?


          • Marleen May 22, 2023 / 12:14 pm

            I also listened (about a day and a half ago) to some YouTube videos of her from a couple years ago. Something that stood out to me is that she said she cries on Sundays. She was going to stop recording the video after another song because she needed time to cry; it was Sunday and she cries on Sundays.

            Liked by 1 person

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