Bonnie Dobson: True Story Of a Huge “Hit” Folksong

June 21, 2015

in REFLECTIONS AND RANTS

(Originally published on February 28, 2011)

“This Song is Your Song: The Story of Bonnie Dobson’s ‘Morning Dew'”

Written, produced and hosted by Kevin CourrierSound Design by John Corcelli The hour-long documentary, “This Song is Your Song: The Story of Bonnie Dobson’s ‘Morning Dew,’” is about Bonnie Dobson, a Canadian singer/songwriter, who wrote the timeless anti-war song, “Morning Dew”back in 1962.

Over the next forty years, her song went on to be covered by hundreds of artists (from Jeff Beck to Canada’s own Serena Ryder), but many would come to forget that Bonnie Dobson was its author.  “Morning Dew” was inspired by film director Stanley Kramer’s On The Beach, the story of survivors of a nuclear fallout who make their way to Australia. Dobson, who was deeply affected by the story, wrote the song as her way of expressing the dark mood of the picture and the times she lived in. She called the song “Morning Dew” and it debuted at the Toronto Mariposa Folk Festival. 

“Morning Dew” was first covered in 1964 by folk-singer Fred Neil and two years later by Tim Rose who made it a hit while claiming co-authorship of the song. What followed was a bizarre story of copyright ownership that started a long legal battle for her to retain her sole authorship.

“This Song is Your Song: The Story of Bonnie Dobson’s ‘Morning Dew’” both chronicles Dobson’s legal fight for authorship as well as how “Morning Dew” evolved into one of the most covered folk songs in popular music.  Tune in to Inside The Music on Saturday September 18, 2010. Inside The Music with Patti Schmidt is heard at 3 pm on Radio 2, 9pm.on Radio One and Sirius Satellite Radio. You may also listen to the program oncbc.ca/radio.