In 1975 I was less than a year out of the military, having moved my family from Offutt Air Force Base (Omaha, Nebraska) to Houston, Texas. Later that year my grandfather passed away at age 87 and I drove the family to Idaho for the funeral. After the funeral, we left immediately from Idaho for Texas.

Driving down the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs, I was in my own inner world thinking of my childhood, my grandfather who had been so much more a male role model than my father, and listening to after-midnight radio to help me stay awake and alert.

A song began that immediately captured my attention, A beautiful but simple melody with chords and phrasings that even I, a church organist for most of my life, recognized as something I could immediately sit down and replicate in my own style. The song was powerful and to my delight, the DJ must have felt the same way. When the song ended, he simply commented on its beauty and played it again.

That double dose left the imprint I needed to replicate the piece the next time I was at a keyboard and I then made it one of my all-time’s and have played it ever since – mostly for personal pleasure and internal spiritual battery-charging. About 15 years ago my wife and I had joined with St. Johns Episcopal Parish in South bend, WA, and I became the alternate organist, playing generally every other week. I remember sitting at the organ and turning the page to the next hymn (which was only announced a [page] "8" and so did not register when I read it. I started playing a portion as the introduction before the singing commenced and suddenly recognized the melody – and lost track of where I should be on the verses it.

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I become so confused with the commercial version – having never known that this song was originally a Christian hymn – that I lost my place and the congregation lost its place. I could not play it as written in the hymnal and so closed the book and played simply played by ear – of course losing synchronicity with how the congregation had for years casually sung this hymn.

This tune is one of my all-time favorites. It came into my life due to the efforts of an artist who eventually became a Muslim and is more noted in today’s world for his “Muslimness” than the beauty of his music. From Wikipedia : Morning Has Broken

... a Christian hymn with lyrics written by Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965). It can be found in the hymnals of many denominations. It was written in Alfriston. It has often been erroneously attributed to Cat Stevens, who recorded a popular version of the song on his album Teaser and the Firecat.
The familiar piano arrangement was recorded by Rick Wakeman, a classically trained keyboardist with the English progressive rock band Yes. Wakeman was not credited with nor paid for his contribution. In 2000, Wakeman released an instrumental version of “Morning Has Broken” on an album of the same title. The tune to which it is normally sung is called “Bunessan”, based upon a Gaelic melody. Before Farjeon’s words, it was used as a Christmas carol with lyrics which began “Child in the manger, Infant of Mary”. The English-language Roman Catholic hymnal also uses the tune for the hymn “This Day God Gives Me”.

Lyrics: Morning Has Broken As sung by Cat Stevens 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 world. 

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