In 1961, Toronto-born folk singer, songwriter and musician Bonnie Dobson took the stage at the inaugural Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Ont. to perform her hit tune “Morning Dew” — a ballad about the aftermath of a nuclear apocalypse — which went on to earn cover renditions from artists as varied as The Grateful Dead, Long John Baldry, Greg and Duane Allman and Serena Ryder, among others. Eight years after helping launch Mariposa, however, Dobson retired from music, married and moved to England, embarking on an administrative career at the University of London.
Dobson, 77, has dabbled in music since, including releasing the 2013 album Take Me For A Walk In The Morning Dew, the same year she duetted with Robert Plant on a live rendition of “Morning Dew” (see above video). And on Saturday, July 7, she returns to the Mariposa Folk Festival to not only perform “Morning Dew,” but also see the anti-nuke tune inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Zoomer caught up with Dobson to discuss her return to Mariposa 57 years later.
MIKE CRISOLAGO: Why did you decide to perform this summer at the Mariposa Folk Festival?
BONNIE DOBSON: Well, I’m not actually retired anymore. I‘ve been recording and performing since 2013. How could I say ‘no’ to Mariposa? Some invitations can’t be refused!
MC: What thoughts or emotions go through your head when you think about performing at Mariposa for the first time in almost 60 years?
BD: I’m not sure precisely how I’ll feel. I know there will be loads of my friends and family in the audience and it will be wonderful to have that support. I guess I’ll be thinking about that young girl who stood on that stage so long ago. Mostly, surprise and happiness to be there … still singing and still ‘vertical’ after all these years.