Cat Stevens - Morning Has Broken

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"Morning Has Broken" is a popular and well-known Christian hymn first published in 1931. It has words by English author Eleanor Farjeon and is set to a traditional Gaelic tune known as "Bunessan" (it shares this tune with the 19th century Christmas Carol "Child in the Manger"). It is often sung in children's services. 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 when it reached number six on the US pop chart and number one on the US easy listening chart in 1972.

Writing credit for "Morning Has Broken" has occasionally been erroneously attributed to Cat Stevens, who popularised the song abroad. The familiar piano arrangement on Stevens' recording was performed by Rick Wakeman, a classically trained keyboardist best known for his tenures in the English progressive rock band Yes.

When shaping "Morning Has Broken" for recording, Stevens had to start with a hymn which took around 45 seconds to sing in its basic form. Producer Paul Samwell-Smith told him he could never put something like that on an album, and that it needed to be at least three minutes in length, although an acoustic demo exists of Stevens playing an early version which lasts almost three minutes. Prior to the actual recording Stevens heard Wakeman play something in the recording booth. It was a rough sketch of what would later become "Catherine Howard". Stevens told Wakeman that he liked it and wanted something similar as the opening section, the closing section and, if possible, a middle section as well. Wakeman told Stevens he could not as it was his piece destined for a solo album, but Stevens persuaded him to adapt his composition. The familiar piano intro and general structure of the piece may be attributed to Stevens or to Wakeman.

On his come-back to perform as Yusuf Islam, Stevens made a payment to Wakeman and apologized for the initial non-payment, which arose from confusion and a misunderstanding on the record label's part. On a documentary aired on British television Wakeman stated that he felt Stevens's version of "Morning Has Broken" was a very beautiful piece of music that had brought people closer to religious truth. He expressed satisfaction in having contributed to this.

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Artist: Cat Stevens
Video title: Morning Has Broken
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Category: Pop
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