Chelsea Morning

Program Notes:

Chelsea Morning ​was released on Joni’s 1969 album ​Clouds ​and performed by Mitchell and several other artists that same year. Mitchell’s joy of living in New York is reflected in this brand new arrangement by Canadian composer Laura Hawley. Commissioned for Elektra with a generous gift from the Aulando, Whiteside, and Van Seters families

Composer / Arranger Notes:

I had such a fun time arranging Chelsea Morning for Elektra! I really thought a lot about the brightness of Joni Mitchell’s guitar in the original recording, and in writing this arrangement, I played around a lot in exploring different vocal sounds to use that would best capture that in ways that would feel good to sing and work well for voices. It’s such a beautiful tune, so I also wanted to set up the arrangement in a way that would allow everyone in the choir to have a turn singing at least some of the melody sometimes, and I think I was able to do that! Fellow fans of the Finnish a cappella group, Rajaton, will recognize that I have taken inspiration from their sound in creating this new arrangement.

References:

This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.

Collections:

Concerts:

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I heard
Was a song outside my window, and the traffic wrote the words
It came a-ringing up like Christmas bells and rapping up like pipes and drums

Oh, won’t you stay
We’ll put on the day
And we’ll wear it ’till the night comes

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I saw
Was the sun through yellow curtains, and a rainbow on the wall
Blue, red, green and gold to welcome you, crimson crystal beads to beckon

Oh, won’t you stay
We’ll put on the day
There’s a sun show every second

Now the curtain opens on a portrait of today
And the streets are paved with passers-by
And pigeons fly
And papers lie
Waiting to blow away

Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I knew
There was milk and toast and honey and a bowl of oranges, too
And the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses

Oh, won’t you stay
We’ll put on the day
And we’ll talk in present tenses

When the curtain closes and the rainbow runs away
I will bring you incense owls by night
By candlelight
By jewel-light
If only you will stay
Pretty baby, won’t you

Wake up, it’s a Chelsea morning