“Morning Girl” by The Lettermen

The Lettermen are a trio of vocalists who were originally based in Las Vegas. This act has been around for a very long time, since 1959 actually, and throughout the decades its membership has fluctuated. But at the time of this song’s release, it consisted of Tony Butala, Jim Pike (d. 2019) and his younger brother, Gary Pike.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for The Lettermen's Morning Girl at Lyrics.org.

The Lettermen don’t particularly have many big hits in their discography. But they dropped albums at a prolific pace, and throughout the 1960s and 70s their songs regularly charted. Based on chart performance, their biggest success may be considered 1961’s “When I Fall in Love”. 

As for their rendition of “Morning Girl”, which was released in 1971, the track managed to break the top 40 of Billboard’s US Adult Contemporary ranking.

The original release of “Morning Girl” dates back a couple of years prior, to 1969, via a somewhat obscure outfit that was known as The Neon Philharmonic. And throughout the years it has been covered by a number of artists, perhaps most notably, all things considered, being Shaun Cassidy, who did so in 1976.

Going back to The Lettermen’s rendition, it can be found on “Everything’s Good About You”, a product of Capitol Records and the first of three albums they came out with in 1971. 

Who wrote “Morning Girl”?

The writing credit for the song goes out to the late Tupper Saussy (1936-2007), who was the main composer behind The Neon Philharmonic.

Sound Advice for Your Small Girl?

Morning Girl can most simply be described as a female coming-of-age song, whereas the addressee is a loved one of the vocalist though obviously not his romantic interest. Based on the first verse, it can be theorized that she’s his daughter, though latter segments make it sound as if they’re perhaps closer in age.  Or let’s say that if the vocalist is the addressee’s father, then she’s obviously old enough that he’s cool with the idea of her being romantically active.

“Mornin’ girl, how’d ya sleep last night?
You’re sev’ral ages older now
Your eyes have started showin’ how
The little girl’s growin’ now”

In any event, what he’s doing is imbuing her with a life lesson, so to speak. And that would as now that she’s budding into a mature lady, she has to be wise enough to conduct herself accordingly. Or relayed otherwise, she should no longer be under a child’s impression that being in love is all gravy. 

To the contrary, it is ‘a whole lot more than kisses’. And in imparting this advice, the vocalist goes on to imply that maybe this is something the addressee has already begun to learn the hard way.

The singer’s advice eventually ends on a note that would undoubtedly offend feminists, advising the girl to ‘put her dreams away’, make herself pretty “and go out and find your man where the wild wind blows”.  

If the addressee has already suffered from some type of romantic setback due to her own naiveté, as inferred, then telling homegirl to venture out and find a man doesn’t particularly read like wise instruction. 

But again, this composition dates back to a time when it was more heavily ingrained in the American consciousness that women should make romance, i.e. pleasing a husband if you will, the center of their life’s ambition. And all things considered, the vocalist doesn’t mean the addressee any harm. Instead, if there is any thesis sentiment to be had from this piece, that would be along the lines of him empathizing with her now having to deal with the harsh realities of romance as opposed to what she may have believed about being in love beforehand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *