Sometimes a song needs to see a little more of the light. For When Morning Comes, that time arrived in 2013. The song is about me, my Dad, and the day he left home in Thropton more than 50 years ago, about the physical journey he made ... and the emotional journey that I began that year. I make no apology for the fact that - even all these years later - the song and the video are VERY personal. (Read more.)
My Dad died way back in 1995, yet every day, I speak to him, see his face in my mind. And often at night, I dream about him ... very often. In one of these inner conversations, I was musing about how the seven-year-old John Lewis felt when his Dad quit the family home back in 1962.
The Rev. Arthur David Lewis had decided that - in an effort to improve his and his family's lot - he would leave the Presbyterian Church in Thropton, Northumberland, where he was Minister and take a theological job in Geneva, Switzerland. In later life, he told me he hoped the family would move too but my mother said no. So the rest of us moved into rented accomodation in the village and stayed. It would turn out that my Dad's departure signaled the end of the longest time I would EVER share life with him in the same house.
At first, I was uncomfortable with how the song developed and I tried to disguise the story - move it away from me and my Dad. I had him depart in a car and trailer - an impossibility since he never learned to drive; and I made it a frosty morning. In truth, I think he left us in the summer! As I tried to write, the words which came to me kept turning back to how I feel now about his leaving and the lyrics flowed. In the final version, the inital disguises remain, but the song is about how John D. Lewis feels about his Dad's departure in 1962!
The catalyst for releasing the song as a single - and adding it to the album, Still Thinking, now was some old film of my family shot by my Uncle, Tom Lewis, during the seven years before Dad left Thropton.
So this is my tribute to my father, Arthur David Lewis: to me, he's "always there, When Morning Comes."
Full video credits.
Video released : April 23, 2013. © 2013, John D. Lewis/Dawn M. Lewis/Coquet Shack (PRS/BMI/PPL).