Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'

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"Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'"
Composer(s)Richard Rodgers
Lyricist(s)Oscar Hammerstein II

"Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" is the opening song from the musical Oklahoma!, which premiered on Broadway in 1943. It was written by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The leading male character in Oklahoma!, Curly McLain, sings the song at the beginning of the first scene of the musical. The refrain runs: "Oh, what a beautiful mornin'! / Oh, what a beautiful day! / I've got a beautiful feelin' / Ev'rythin's goin' my way." Curly's "brimming optimism is perfectly captured by Rodgers' ebullient music and Hammerstein's buoyant pastoral lyrics."[1]

This was the first song of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical collaboration to be heard by theatre audiences. It has become one of their most famous numbers and "quickly became one of the most popular American songs to emerge from the wartime era, gaining currency away from Broadway first on the radio and recordings, and then later on numerous television variety shows."[1] Brooks Atkinson, reviewing the original production in The New York Times, wrote that the number changed the history of musical theatre: "After a verse like that, sung to a buoyant melody, the banalities of the old musical stage became intolerable."[2]

Noteworthy recordings[edit]

Noteworthy recordings include the following:

Other artists who have recorded the song include Rosemary Clooney on several of her albums,[12] Peggy Lee,[citation needed] Nelson Eddy,[citation needed], and Joanie Bartels.[13] Classical singers who have recorded it include Placido Domingo, Bryn Terfel, Marilyn Horne and Samuel Ramey, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir made a choral version.[1]

In popular culture[edit]

Ethan Mordden titled his book about the dawn of the "Golden Age" of musicals Beautiful Mornin: The Broadway Musical in the 1940s (1999).[14]

The song "Montego Bay" by Bobby Bloom ends with an a capella segment of "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'".[15]


  1. ^ a b c Cummings, Robert. "Richard Rodgers: Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', song (for the musical Oklahoma!)", Allmusic.com, May 10, 2014
  2. ^ Gordon, John Steele. Oklahoma'!' Archived 2010-08-04 at the Wayback Machine, accessed June 13, 2010
  3. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890–1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 561. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  5. ^ "Frank Sinatra: 'Oh What a Beautiful Morning'", Allmusic.com, May 10, 2014
  6. ^ "The Columbia Years 1943–1952: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 1", Sinatra!: The Complete Guide, May 10, 2014
  7. ^ "Ray Charles: 'Oh, What a Beautiful Morning'", Allmusic, accessed May 10, 2014
  8. ^ "Eels: 'Oh What a Beautiful Morning'", Allmusic, accessed May 10, 2014
  9. ^ "Discography", JamesTaylor.com, accessed May 10, 2014
  10. ^ "James Taylor: 'Oh, What a Beautiful Morning'", Allmusic, accessed May 10, 2014
  11. ^ " Season 2 (1986)", Sharon, Lois & Bram, accessed December 29, 2014
  12. ^ "Rosemary Clooney: 'Oh, What a Beautiful Morning'", Allmusic, accessed May 10, 2014
  13. ^ "Chicken Soup for Little Souls: What a Wonderful World", Allmusic, accessed May 10, 2014
  14. ^ Mordden, Ethan (1999). Beautiful Mornin: The Broadway Musical in the 1940s. U.S.: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512851-6.
  15. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Montego Bay: Bobby Bloom". All music. Retrieved September 5, 2023.

External links[edit]