Morning Dew

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"Morning Dew"
Song by Bonnie Dobson
from the album Bonnie Dobson at Folk City
Published1964
Released1962
GenreFolk rock
LabelPrestige International INT 13057
Songwriter(s)Bonnie Dobson

"Morning Dew", also known as "(Walk Me Out in the) Morning Dew", is a post-apocalyptic folk rock song written by Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson and made famous by the Grateful Dead.

Overview[edit]

The song is a dialogue between the last man and woman left alive following an apocalyptic catastrophe: Dobson has stated that the initial inspiration for "Morning Dew" was the film On the Beach which is focused on the survivors of virtual global annihilation by nuclear holocaust. The actual writing of the song occurred in 1961 while Dobson was staying with a friend in Los Angeles: Dobson would recall how the guests at her friend's apartment were speculating about a nuclear war's aftermath and "after everyone went to bed, I sat up and suddenly I just started writing this song [although] I had never written [a song] in my life".[1] Dobson premiered "Morning Dew" in her set at the inaugural Mariposa Folk Festival that year with the song's first recorded version being on Dobson's At Folk City live album in 1962. Dobson would not record a studio version of the song until 1969, that being for her Bonnie Dobson album.

"Morning Dew" was not published until 1964 when Jac Holzman of Elektra Records contacted Dobson with an offer to sign her as a songwriter as Elektra artist Fred Neil had heard "Morning Dew" and wished to record it. The first studio recording of "Morning Dew" appeared on the 1964 album Tear Down The Walls by Fred Neil and Vince Martin. It was this version which introduced the song to Tim Rose who in 1966 recorded "Morning Dew" for his self-titled debut album after soliciting permission to revise the song with a resultant co-writing credit. Dobson agreed without having any intended revision specified and was subsequently much discomforted to learn that the changes were minimal. As of the February 1967 release of the Tim Rose single version of "Morning Dew" the standard songwriting credit for the song has been Bonnie Dobson and Tim Rose: Dobson, who in 1998 averred she'd never met Rose (d. 2002), has stated that she's received 75% songwriting royalty as she retains sole writing credit for the song's music.[1]

"Morning Dew" became a signature song of the Grateful Dead whose frontman Jerry Garcia was introduced to the Fred Neil recording by roadie Laird Grant in 1966. The Grateful Dead introduced "Morning Dew" into their repertoire as their opening number at the Human Be-In in January 1967: that same month the group recorded their self-titled debut album featuring "Morning Dew" and released that March.[2]

In 1968 "Morning Dew" became a Top 20 single in Ireland via a recording by Sugar Shack which reached #17 that February: a UK release of the single was planned but cancelled. In the summer of 1968 Lulu charted in the US with her version of "Morning Dew" taken from her 1967 album Lulu Sings 'To Sir With Love: the track was ranked as high as #8 at key Top 40 station 93 KHJ in LA but typically was afforded moderate ranking on lesser market hit parades with an achieved national peak of #52. In Australia "Morning Dew" charted with a #59 peak, and in Canada it reached #55. In 1969 Lulu's version of "Morning Dew" later served as the B-side of her Spanish language recording of "Boom Bang-a-Bang" with the former being subtitled "Rocío DeIn La Mañana" although it was Lulu's original English language recording of "Morning Dew" and not a translation.

Covers[edit]

In early 1964 a folk band called The Goldebriars released a cover of Come Walk Me Out In The Morning Dew.

Contemporaneous with the Grateful Dead's cover, "Morning Dew" was recorded by Los Angeles-based, psychedelic rock band The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band on their 1967 album Part One. Titled as "Will You Walk With Me", this cover is credited both to Dobson and to the band's guitarist, Danny Harris.

Episode 6, a precursor to bands Deep Purple and Quatermass, recorded the song as a single in June of 1967. It appears on the CD The Complete Episode Six.

An early Dave Edmunds band, Human Beans, released a version before 1968.[3]

Lee Hazlewood covered Morning Dew on his 1968 album Love and Other Crimes.

Jeff Beck covered Morning Dew in his 1968 debut album Truth

Another version is by Allison Durbin (dubbed "Australia's Queen of Pop" in the 1960s) on her 1968 album I Have Loved Me a Man.

Duane & Greg Allman covered this song as a demo for a planned 1968 album, originally under the band name The 31st of February. The album was never completed, as the two shortly thereafter formed The Allman Brothers Band. It was later released under their names.

Damnation Of Adam Blessing covered Morning Dew on their debut album The Damnation Of Adam Blessing in 1969 on United Artist Records

In 1969 the New Zealand band Retaliation recorded the song. It appears on A Day in My Mind's Mind Volume 3.

Scottish hard rock band Nazareth covered it on their debut Nazareth album in 1971.

Australian band Hush covered the song on their album, Aloud 'n' Live (1973).

Irish group Clannad recorded the song on their first album (1973).

Long John Baldry recorded the song, released in 1981 by EMI America.

Blackfoot recorded it on their album Vertical Smiles in 1984.

In 1987 Einstürzende Neubauten recorded a version on Fünf auf der nach oben offenen Richterskala.

Devo covered Morning Dew on their 1990 album Smooth Noodle Maps

Robert Plant (with Strange Sensation) recorded a version on their 2002 album Dreamland.

Skating Polly recorded a version on their 2016 album The Big Fit.[4]

The National recorded a version of the song in 2016.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Schneider, Jason (2009). Whispering Pines: the northern roots of American music (1st ed.). Toronto: ECW Press. p. un-numbered. ISBN 1550228749.
  2. ^ Dennis McNally (2002) A Long Strange Trip: the inside history of the Grateful Dead (1st ed.) NYC: Broadway Books p.539 ISBN 07679-1186-5
  3. ^ "Making Time- Love Sculpture". Makingtime.co.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Skating Polly Share Video For "Morning Dew", Lee Hazlewood's Protest Anthem". Musicandriots.com. 24 November 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2017.

External links[edit]