Archive for the ‘Morning Dew’ Category

Bonnie Dobson’s Morning Dew

October 23, 2014

 

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Bonnie Dobson (born November 13, 1940, Toronto, Canada) is a Canadian songwriter, singer, and guitarist, most known in the 1960s for composing the song ‘Morning Dew’. The song, augmented (with a co-writing credit) by Tim Rose, became a melancholy folk-rock standard.

 

‘Morning Dew’, also known as ‘(Walk Me Out in the) Morning Dew’, is a post-apocalyptic song, 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 focuses on the survivors of virtual global annihilation by nuclear holocaust.

 

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… What happened with that song is that I saw a film called On The Beach and it made a tremendous impression on me, that film. Particularly at that time because everybody was very worried about the bomb and whether we were going to get through the next ten years. It was a very immediate problem and I remember I sat up all night talking with some friends who went to bed or something and I just sat and suddenly I just started writing… and this song just came out and really it was a kind of re-enactment of that film in a way where at the end there is nobody left and it was a conversation between these two people trying to explain what’s happening. It was really apocalyptic, that was what it was about… It took the form of a conversation between the last man and woman – post-apocalypse – one trying to comfort the other while knowing there’s absolutely nothing left.’

 

Morning Dew by Bonnie Dobson

 

Take me for a walk in the morning dew, my honey

Take me for a walk me in the morning dew, my love

You can’t go walking in the morning dew today

You can’t go walking in the morning dew today

But listen! I hear a man moaning, ‘Lord’

I know I hear a man moaning, ‘Lord’

You didn’t hear a man moan at all

You didn’t hear a man moan at all

But I know I hear my baby crying, ‘Mama’

Yes, I know I hear my baby crying, ‘Mama’

You’ll never hear your baby cry again

You’ll never hear your baby cry again

Oh, where have all the people gone?

Won’t you tell me, where have all the people gone

Don’t you worry about the people any more

Don’t you worry about the people any more

Take me for a walk in the morning dew, my honey

Take me for a walk in the morning dew, my love

You can’t go walking in the morning dew today

You can’t go walking in the morning dew today

You can’t go walking in the morning dew today

 

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Bonnie 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.

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‘In 1964 I was contacted by Jac Holzman of Elektra Records, who told me that Fred Neil wanted to record ‘Morning Dew’ and that as I’d not published it, would I like to do so with his company, Nina Music. I signed a contract and Neil recorded the song. His is the original cover, on Tear Down the Walls by Vince Martin and Fred Neil. His singing of it differed from mine in that he altered the lyric slightly, changing ‘Take me for a walk in the morning dew’ to ‘Walk me out in the morning dew.’ He was also the first person to rock it.’

 

Morning Dew by Bonnie Dobson (arranged by Fred Neil)

 

Walk me out

In the morning dew, my honey

Walk me out

In the morning dew today

 

Can’t walk you out

In the morning dew, my baby

Can’t walk you out

In the morning dew today

 

Thought I heard

A young man moanin’ Lord

Thought I heard

A young man moanin’ Lord

 

You didn’t hear

No young man moanin’ Lord

You didn’t hear

No young man moan today

 

Where have all the people gone

My honey

Where haye all the people gone

Today

 

Don’t you worry

‘Bout those people, baby

You’ll never see those people

Anymore

 

Thought I heard

My baby cryin’ mama

Thought I heard

My baby cryin’ mama

 

You didn’t hear

No baby cryin’ mama

You didn’t hear

No baby cry today

 

Walk me out

In the morning dew, my honey

Walk me out

In the morning dew today

 

Can’t walk you out

In the morning dew, my baby

I’ll never walk you out

In the morning dew again

 

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 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 (who died in 2002), has stated that she’s received 75% songwriting royalty as she retains sole writing credit for the song’s music.

 

 

 

Morning Dew (with additional lyrics by Tim Rose)

Walk me out in the morning dew, my honey

Walk me out in the morning dew today

Can’t walk you in the morning dew, my honey

They can’t walk you out in the morning dew at all

I thought I heard a young girl crying, momma

I thought I heard a young girl cry today

You didn’t hear no young girl crying, momma

You didn’t hear no young girl cry at all

 

Walk me out in the morning dew, my honey

Walk me out in the morning dew today

Can’t walk you out in the morning dew, my baby

They can’t walk you out in the morning dew at all

 

Thought I heard a young man crying, momma

Thought I heard a young man cry today

You didn’t hear no young man crying, momma

You didn’t hear no young man cry at all

 

Now there’s no more morning dew

Now there’s no more morning dew

What they were saying all these years is true

‘Cause there’s no more morning dew

 

Oh, now there’s no more morning dew

Oh, now there’s no more morning dew

Lord, what they were saying all these years was true

Oh, ’cause there’s no more morning dew

 

Yeah, now there’s no more morning dew, now, now, now

Oh, now there’s no more morning dew

What they were saying all these years is so true

They have chased away all our morning dew

 

Oh, now there’s no more morning dew

Oh, now there’s no more morning dew

 

 

Bonnie Dobson recalls her involvement with Tim Rose: ‘In 1967 while I was living in Toronto, I had a call from Manny Greenhill, my agent, saying that Tim Rose wanted to record ‘Morning Dew’, but he wanted to change the lyric. I duly signed a new contract and Rose was written in as co-lyricist on the basis of his new lyric.’

 

Dobson also says: ‘Tim Rose, I’ve never met him, was written into the contract subsequently, I think it was 1967, maybe early ’68. I had a call from Manny Greenhill saying Tim Rose is going to record your song but he wants to make a few changes, write a new lyric. I think what happened was there was no way we could not actually cut him in on the lyric because I had performed it and then published it. I hadn’t done it the way you’re supposed to do things, so it was somewhat in the public domain.’

 

‘So that was difficult, but the worst part was that when I came to England in 1969 and I gave my debut concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall everybody had thought that Tim Rose had written that song because he had never ever given me any credit at any time for anything to do with that song. I’ve written songs with other people and I have never claimed them for my own. I just think it was really a dreadfully dishonest thing to do. I still get my royalty check, but I still consider it quite a grievous injury.’

‘In 1968, when Lulu released her single of ‘Morning Dew’, a full-page ad was placed in Billboard referring to it as ‘Tim Rose’s Great Hit’ – no mention of Ms. Dobson at all.’

‘From that time till now-particularly here in England – people have never believed that I had anything to do with the writing of ‘Morning Dew’. Rose never gave me any credit. Even Nazareth’s single from 1981 has only him listed as the composer.’

‘It has caused me a lot of aggravation and unhappiness. Even though I have and still do receive substantial royalties (75 percent as opposed to his 25 percent), it doesn’t make up for the man’s behaviour.’

 

 ‘Morning Dew’ became a signature song of the Grateful Dead, whose singer/guitarist Jerry Garcia was alerted to the Fred Neil recording by roadie Laird Grant in 1966. The Grateful Dead introduced ‘Morning Dew’ into their repertoire as their opening number in January 1967: that same month the group recorded their self-titled debut album featuring ‘Morning Dew’ and released that March.

 

 

Dobson says: ‘I always liked the Dead’s version of ‘Morning Dew.’ My one regret is that when they first appeared in Toronto – was it 1967 or 1968 at the O’keefe Centre? – they didn’t sing ‘Morning Dew’ in the concert that I attended. I also regret that I was too shy to go backstage and meet them.’

The Grateful Dead’s patronage of ‘Morning Dew’ has resulted in the song’s being recorded by a number of hard rock acts such as Episode Six (featuring Roger Glover and Ian Gillan – later of Deep Purple):

It has also been covered by Blackfoot (who added an extra verse):

Walk me out in the morning dew, baby
Please walk me out in the morning dew
I can’t walk you out in the morning dew
I can’t walk you out in the morning dew, yeah

Yeah

I thought I heard a young girl cry, baby
I thought I heard a young girl cry
You didn’t hear no young girl cry
You didn’t hear no young girl cry today

Well, I thought I saw a flash in the sky this morning
Thought I saw a flash in the sky today
Well, the earth it trembles and
The sky is no longer blue
Now there is no more morning dew, oh today

(Solo)

Now there is no more morning dew
Now there is no more morning dew today
What they’ve been sayin’ all these years has come true
Now there is no more morning dew
Oh, today
No more morning dew today

Won’t you please walk me out in the dew
The dew
Morning dew, yeah, yeah

 

In Robert Plant’s version, Plant changed Tim Rose’s line ‘What they were saying all these years is so true’ to ‘What they been saying all these years is not true’:

The Jeff Beck Group version comes complete with bagpipes at the start to evoke the highlands):

Long John Baldry’s version has a beautiful piano introduction, broken by the rumble of an atomic explosion, followed immediately by screams or sirens or both:

 

and Jazz Is Dead’s instrumental version is full of emotional power, despite being lyric-less:

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Different versions of Morning Dew can be found on:

 

1962 Bonnie Dobson, At Folk City

 1963 The Briarwoods Well Well Well

1964 Vince Martin & Fred Neil, Tear Down the Walls

1966 Tim Rose Tim Rose, ‘Morning Dew’ (single), plus later re-recordings

1967 Episode Six ‘Morning Dew’ single

1971 Nazareth Nazareth

1972 Blue Mink Live at the Talk of the Town

1973 Clannad Clannad

1974 Blue Mink Fruity

1980 Long John Baldry Long John Baldry

1984 Blackfoot Vertical Smiles

1990 Devo Smooth Noodle Maps

 2002 Robert Plant Dreamland

 2003 Mungo Jerry Adults Only

 

 

Bonnie Dobson’s Morning Dew

www.rjdent.com

 

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