Admirable Artists

Angel of the Morning

Juice Newton in 1981

Sequentially-random scrolling1 through YouTube + Ultimate Guitar led me to this song. The simple chords and structure make it a joy to play, and Juice Newton’s angelic voice is divine. (Juice’s release is not the original: according to Wikipedia, although not the first recording/release, the honour of the first version to become a hit goes to Merilee Rush in 1968.)

When I was a girl I heard this song coming from my older sisters’ bedrooms, as their radios played the Hit Parade songs. Too young to pick up any subtext (what the verses were actually about – forbidden love/an affair) I thought it was The Most Romantic Song I’d ever heard, and I daydreamed of being an angel in the morning because angels are pretty and special, and to be loved as an angel meant receiving limitless love … and who wouldn’t welcome that? (Chip Taylor actually wrote it in the year I was born – so maybe I was an angel in the morning after all, arriving just after midnight…)

After playing the song – and others by Juice Newton that my sequentially-random scrolling led me to – I texted my amazing friend Daz3 (who came into my life by marrying my awesome long-term friend Jac) and with whom I share the passion of playing guitar:

Juice Newton


Angel of the Morning or Queen of Hearts?

Thanks to my favourite UG2 arranger I’ve just been playing along with Juice.

What a name eh?

It’s quite a name. OJ’s nickname I believe.

Love’s Been A Little Bit Hard On Me, hilarious film clip,

she looks like she’s not afraid to laugh at herself,

I relate to that

Yep. Looked her up on YouTube as I didn’t know her by name.

Pretty campy stuff.

Fun to play

Jealous of her hair

Probably dyes it but…and likely has nits…

…which just goes to show that I’m not a paragon of virtue all the time…

Juice Newton in 2013 – she can still hold a note (far longer than I can sustain one)!

1 sequentially-random scrolling: my term for the process of starting with a song I want to play on my guitar, finding it on YouTube + Ultimate Guitar to play to, then waiting to see what comes up on YouTube next, to see if that’s a good direction for my playing to go in at that time. As anyone who uses YouTube will know, it usually forwards to songs from the same artist and/or the same era/style.

2 UG: Ultimate Guitar, the freestyle guitarist’s best friend in the form of a website and app. Thanks to the many people who work out the chord sequences to songs I like, I am able to play a greater variety of songs than those I have in my music books, AND I get to “play with the artists” – so I feel like I’m performing with them: an immense feeling when playing along to live versions with thousands in the crowd! (This looks super-freaky in my Covid world where gatherings of two or five people is the maximum “crowd” permitted.)

3 Check this out! This band gigged semi-regularly a decade ago. Now it’s addressing its ‘recent hiatus’ with a Lockdown Livestream! Rock your socks off – this ain’t no lily-livered coverband…

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