NPR logo Good Morning Heartache: Wake Up To Jazz

Good Morning Heartache: Wake Up To Jazz

Does music you hear in the morning set the tone for your day? Would you rather have music create a mood for you, or just match the mood you're already in? Does an instrumental number move you, or would you rather have a tune suitable for singing along?

Below are five songs to get you into a morning groove. A few are happy, while a couple reflect on lost love. Tell us about your favorite morning songs in the comments section below.

Good Morning Heartache: Wake Up To Jazz

Lucky To Be Me

Woke Up This Morning

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Taylor Eigsti

  • Song: Woke Up This Morning
  • from Lucky to Be Me

Listen to the first few seconds of this song, and see if you can place it. Got it yet? Pianist Taylor Eigsti turns the theme song from HBO's The Sopranos into a rousing instrumental jazz number, complete with a few horns and a funky attitude. This ought to help get you moving in the morning.

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Song
Lucky to Be Me
Album
Lucky to Be Me
Artist
Taylor Eigsti
Label
JVC Victor
Released
2006

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Cover for Ray Sings, Basie Swings

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

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Ray Charles/Count Basie Orchestra

  • Song: Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
  • from Ray Sings, Basie Swings

This song starts off softly, as Ray Charles' calm voice sings of a bright golden haze in a meadow — a peaceful morning setting if ever there was one. He builds into a joyful, soulful tribute to the day's beginning. You'll feel everything is going your way, too, even if you're stuck in freeway gridlock.

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Song
Ray Sings, Basie Swings
Album
Ray Sings, Basie Swings
Artist
Ray Charles/Count Basie Orchestra
Label
Telarc
Released
2006

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Give Me The Simple Life

Morning

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Sara Lazarus

  • Song: Morning
  • from Give Me the Simple Life

Sara Lazarus sings of the gentle arrival of morning, and the memories of lost love that come with it. The song isn't quite sad, though. It's more of a jaunty lament with a slightly Latin undercurrent. If you're feeling gloomy over a breakup, this song might just change your tune.

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Song
Give Me the Simple Life
Album
Give Me the Simple Life
Artist
Sara Lazarus
Label
Dreyfus
Released
2005

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The Diva Series

Good Morning Heartache

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Billie Holiday

  • Song: Good Morning Heartache
  • from Diva Series

If you've woken up with a relationship hangover, and you really don't want to listen to anything happy, this song is made for you. Charlie Shavers' bright trumpet introduction adds a few notes of happiness before Billie Holiday sings of a conversation with heartache. She tells it to go away, then resigns herself to the fact that she might as well get used to it hanging around. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

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Song
Diva Series
Album
Diva Series
Artist
Billie Holiday
Label
Universal
Released
2003

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Paradise

Morning Prayer, Pt. 2

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Tom Harrell

  • Song: Morning Prayer, Pt. 2
  • from Paradise

Trumpeter Tom Harrell summons the dawn with a beautiful, bright call to morning. A harp, violin, viola and cello join in with the more traditional acoustic quartet of trumpet, guitar, bass and drums to give this tune a fullness and energy befitting the potential a new day brings. "Morning Prayer" ought to help keep you in good spirits, even as morning makes way for the afternoon.

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Song
Paradise
Album
Paradise
Artist
Tom Harrell
Label
RCA
Released
2001

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

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