A brand new version of this song, made famous by Lee Hazlewood and the Grateful Dead. It was written by folk singer Bonnie Dobson.
The song is a dialogue between the last man and woman left alive following an apocalyptic catastrophe: Dobson has stated that the initial inspiration for “Morning Dew” was the film On the Beach which is focused on the survivors of virtual global annihilation by nuclear holocaust. The actual writing of the song occurred in 1961 while Dobson was staying with a friend in Los Angeles: Dobson would recall how the guests at her friend’s apartment were speculating about a nuclear war’s aftermath and “after everyone went to bed, I sat up and suddenly I just started writing this song [although] I had never written [a song] in my life”. Dobson premiered “Morning Dew” in her set at the inaugural Mariposa Folk Festival that year with the song’s first recorded version being on Dobson’s At Folk City live album in 1962. Dobson would not record a studio version of the song until 1969, that being for her Bonnie Dobson album.
“Morning Dew” was not published until 1964 when Jac Holzman of Elektra Records contacted Dobson with an offer to sign her as a songwriter as Elektra artist Fred Neil had heard “Morning Dew” and wished to record it. The first studio recording of “Morning Dew” appeared on the 1964 album Tear Down The Walls by Fred Neil and Vince Martin. It was this version which introduced the song to Tim Rose who in 1966 recorded “Morning Dew” for his self-titled debut album after soliciting permission to revise the song with a resultant co-writing credit. Dobson agreed without having any intended revision specified and was subsequently much discomforted to learn that the changes were minimal. As of the February 1967 release of the Tim Rose single version of “Morning Dew” the standard songwriting credit for the song has been Bonnie Dobson and Tim Rose: Dobson, who in 1998 averred she’d never met Rose (d. 2002), has consistently questioned Rose’s right to a credit.