Praise for the morning

“Morning Has Broken” is a popular Christian hymn first published in 1931. It was not written by Cat Stevens, although it is frequently attributed to him.  He should be given credit for introducing it to a wider audience.  However, English author Eleanor Farjeon wrote the words and it is set to a traditional Scottish tune known as “Bunessan”. According to Wikipedia, the hymn originally appeared in the second edition of “Songs of Praise” (published in 1931). 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 Scottish tune”. A slight variation on the original hymn, also written by Eleanor Farjeon, can be found in the form of a poem contributed to the anthology Children’s Bells, under Farjeon’s new title, “A Morning Song (For the First Day of Spring)”, published by Oxford University Press in 1957.

Eleanor Farjeon (13 February 1881 – 5 June 1965) was an author of children’s stories and plays, poetry, biography, history and satire. She was the granddaughter of the American actor Joseph Jefferson and counted among her friends D. H. Lawrence, Walter de la Mare and Robert Frost. We thank her for writing this wonderful reminder to appreciate the small things (which are really the big things) in our lives and to thank our creator. After all, “this is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

Morning Has Broken
lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken,
like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken,
like the first bird
Praise for the singing,
praise for the morning
Praise for the springing
fresh from the word

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 every morning
God’s recreation of the new day