Morningtown Ride to Christmas by The Seekers
'Morningtown Ride to Christmas' is the title track from The Seekers’ first and only Christmas album. It is a reworking of the children’s lullaby 'Morningtown Ride' written by American folk-blues singer-songwriter Malvina Reynolds in 1957. Releasing the track on their album Hide and Seek, The Seekers re-recorded 'Morningtown Ride' as a single in 1966; this version was a worldwide hit and earned the band the honour of being the first Australian band to have a hit single in Australia, England and America.
Judith Durham (1943–2022) left the Seekers in 1968 to pursue a solo career. The following year original member Keith Potger formed the New Seekers based out of the UK. The New Seekers is still active however there are no original Seekers in the line-up.
In 1993 The Seekers reformed for a 102 date, 25-year Silver Jubilee Celebration tour. Reconnecting with their audience the band returned to making albums: two featuring new material and several live offerings. Morningtown Ride to Christmas was released in 2001.
Durham’s vocal on this track is still as strong and clear as when The Seekers began. Her beautiful voice still has the trademark quality of a finely-made bell which chimes its major note and carries the overtones of underlying harmonics to make a complex and rich sound. The tempo of the song is pushed along by Bruce Woodley’s banjo playing which gives the piece a great toe-tapping feel, allowing us to forgive the band for such a cheesy re-write of the lyrics to fit into their Christmas brief.