Morning Has Broken

Morning Has Broken

Here’s a beautiful Springtime tune to play on the harmonica in C. It’s called Morning Has Broken and it’s been sung in schools for many years.

It became popular in 1972, when Cat Stevens took it to N0.6 in the pop charts. But the melody was originally a folk tune from Scotland. Let’s investigate some more, and then learn how to play along on the harmonica.

Like the first morning

In the 1800s, a Scottish crofter’s wife called Mary MacDonald wrote a new hymn in her native Gaellic language. The hymn was called Leanabh an Aigh (Child In A Manger).

Today we call the tune Bunessan, after the village near Mary’s home on the Isle of Mull in Argyllshire.

The words to Mary’s hymn were eventually translated into English and we now call the song Morning Has broken. The translation was made by Eleanor Farjeon, a children’s author who lived in East Grinstead in Sussex.

Blackbird has spoken

Time to learn the tune on our harmonica. Remember, D means draw (breath in). B means blow (breath out). Numbers shown are for a 10 hole harmonica. Orange numbers are for a 10 hole harmonica. Green numbers are for a 4 hole harmonica.

Morning has broken

4B   5B   6B   7B   8D

1B   2B   3B   4B   1D

 Like the first morning

7D   6D   6B   6D   6B

4D   3D   3B   3D   3B

Blackbird has spoken

4B   4D   5B   6B   6D

1B   1D   2B   3B   3D

Like the first bird

6B   5B   4B   4D

3B   2B   1B   1D

Praise for the singing

6B   5B   6B   7B   6D

3B   2B   3B   4B   3D

Praise for the morning

6B   5B   4B   4B   4D

3B   2B   1D   1B   1D

Praise for the springing

5B   4D   5B   6B   6D

2B   1D   2B   3B   3D

Fresh from the world

4D   5B   4D   4B

1D   2B   1D   1B

Like the first bird

Well done! Now try to find a backing track and play the song to an audience by yourself (solo), or with a group of harmonica players (ensemble).

Perhaps you could try work out some harmony notes and write down a second part to play.

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