Oh What A Beautiful Morning


Jon recalls “I remember my Gran (who died recently) singing me this as a child. If it had only been traditional I could get lots of folk points for that! I often sing this at festival soundchecks when the audience are watching (an awkward arrangement!) – the audience normally finish the chorus off.”

Sounds like a winner to me. Whatever you think of the merits of the song there’s a strange coincidence here. The song is the opening number of the musical Oklahoma and according to Wiki the show grew out of an unsuccessful play, which was adapted by a theatre group to include folk songs. It inspired the musical and Rogers and Hammerstein compositions that turned the fortunes of the flop around to become one of the longest running stage hits of all time and one of the landmarks of the Musical genre. There isn’t  much else to say about it although there’s an extensive Wiki entry for the stage show should you wish to know more.



26 Responses to “Oh What A Beautiful Morning”

  1. SRD says:

    I love it, and if Ewan MacColl’s work can be called folk why not this, it’s long been a song in its own right known by many who look blankly if Oklahama is mentioned. I’m glad to know that it’s not only me who strains to get the notes, but as my audience is only ever the water droplets of the shower (or MrsSRD if I’m feeling particularly cruel) I can always pretend I’m drowning.

  2. Katie says:

    I really rather liked that. Jon’s rendition gives it much more of a folky feel, and is a heck of a lot less corny than some versions I’ve heard.
    I’m really going to miss this site come the end of June…..

  3. Reinhard says:

    SRD: if Ewan MacColl’s work can be called folk: Others call it written in the folk idiom. I don’t care much for the label, I call it bloody good, just like Jon’s work here. A beautiful song!

  4. John Biggs says:

    That damned song has been with me all day !
    Katie raises a serious point about what happens at the end of June. I do not know what Jon and his team have planned, but of one thing I am sure. On it’s completion this project should not be allowed to sink into obscurity. Over the past months Jon has done an amazing job, each day presenting a song simply, with little or no accompanying frills, letting the song tell it’s own story, and allowing the beauty of the lyrics, the poetry and the tune to shine through. The songs reflect the history that spawned them, from medieval, through periods like the industrial revolution, and into modern times. Without such projects some of these songs could vanish for good.
    I think that the work Jon has done in preserving these songs is as important as that done by the collectors of previous generations and, as such, the whole project should be archived (perhaps by E.F.S.D.S. or similar) so that it is available in it’s entirety for those in future generations starting out on a study of our folk music tradition
    O.K., now I will get down off my soap-box.

  5. Sarah says:

    My Gran used to sing, from about the same era:
    You’re the cream in my coffee,
    You’re the salt in my stew;
    You will always be my necessity,
    I’d be lost without you.

  6. Reinhard says:

    John, the songs are available as monthly albums for digital download (the April album for some time now, even though the navigation bar still shows the March issue); hopefully lots of us buy them for posteriority and to give back a few pennies to Jon for his effort. But I agree that a kind of official archive of the project would be great.

  7. LadyD says:

    I didn’t realise there were verses I’ve only ever heard snatches of the chorus before.

  8. johnone says:

    Fantastic!!! Thanks so much Jon.

  9. Diana says:

    Really great – as a song from Oklahoma it can surely be described as “folk” music – it has that feel about it. Exceptionally well sung Jon.

  10. Linda says:

    Not many comments today. Beautifully sung Jon .Just aquired a copy of The Witches of Elswick can recommend. Before the project ends please could we have Jon,s June photo.

  11. David Sion Wright says:

    Lovely -cheered me up -even after our cat died today…

    Sense of place -it is off its time and place but is as much folk music as the manic street preachers are to wales.

  12. Diana says:

    Every sympathy with you having lost a cat recently. But the Manic Street Preachers are great.

  13. Reynard says:

    Nice coincidence, Linda. I just came home from a night on the town, loaded the CD player with the Witches of Elswick’s Out of Bed to properly finish this What a Beautiful Morning, then opened the web browser and saw your posting recommending the Witches! I can heartily second your recommendation; even after ten years it is still one of my favurite albums.

    And you can find the cover of the June album on Mainly Norfolk. But beware, you might find a tracklist there too so look at your own risk.

  14. Linda says:

    @Reynard Have just managed to get a copy of Hell’s Belles by the Witches of Elswick have been trying to get this since last August finally found a copy.

  15. Diana says:

    Morning Linda – gather you are delighted!

  16. Linda says:

    Oooo another sing along, still there Muzza?

  17. OldMuzza (N.W Surrey-UK) says:

    Still here Linda……and singing along with the rude’ words…
    there’s a smell on the grass like an elephant’s eyeeeeeeeee
    and just a little worried at the singer’s relationship with the little brown maverick !!!!
    Seriously though..it is a great song

  18. old Muzza (NW Surrey) says:

    “little brown maverick is winking AN eye” should cover all gender persuasions
    Great song to bellow out……….yes…..folk usually just learn one line of a song…..
    to learn the verses takes a bit of effort but well worth it…..just about mastered ‘The Plymouth Mail’ from ‘The Transports’….hope to wow the apres morris with it soon, complete with whip/horn and tricorn hat! (takes their minds off me forgetting the words!)

  19. Linda says:

    Can t wait to see The Plymouth Mail……..

  20. John Bryson says:

    I confess to belting this out at the White Horse Folk Club gathering on the last Thursday of April – the club meeting in the village of Seagrave in Leicestershire.
    I did a bit of a pre-amble about Rodgers and Hart, then Rodgers and Hammerstein, and sang rhe first line at which point everyone joined in – a great feeling!

  21. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    It should be mandatory for everybody to sing the chorus, at least, of this song, every morning

  22. Linda says:

    Have you done The Plymouth Mail yet Muzza.

  23. Linda says:

    There are some good videos about at the moment on Twitter/Facebook/YouTube of Spiers n Boden doing lockdown Prickle eye bush and some Sam Sweeney cover songs plus Fay and Rob Harbron on this Friday as part of the Sheffield Chamber Music Festival …

  24. Decrepit OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Lindy Lou….not done Plymouth mail yet.. not done any singing for yonks and voice seized up…or is that just age!

  25. OldMuzza(NWSurreyUK) says:

    I recommend that everybody learns this song to sing when they are feeling low!

  26. OldMuzza(NWSurreyUK) says:

    Come on you lot…..let’s all give the chorus a go…..you know you want to….and there is nobody about to hear and judge you!

Your Reply

Warning: Undefined variable $user_ID in /customers/a/0/f/afolksongaday.com/httpd.www/wp-content/themes/comment-central/comments.php on line 121