The cover of the 12" single for Noel's "SIlent Morning".

The cover of the 12

There’s an undercurrent of mortal fear that runs through “Silent Morning”, the 1987 Latin freestyle hit by Noel. The chorus of “silent morning…I wake up and you’re not by my side” is sung with a tangible sadness that rock critic Dave Marsh somewhat accurately connected with the AIDS scourge that was terrorizing the gay community in the mid-late Eighties. A little research reveals that the original title of the song was “Silent Mourning”, underscoring the shock many of the people who were dancing to the song at the height of its’ popularity felt as they saw many of their friends and lovers suddenly dying.

Like many freestyle hits of the time period, “Silent Morning” isn’t particularly well-known to the general public. However, if you were living in Miami, L.A. or New York during the time period it was out, this song was ridiculously fucking huge. Noel Pagan’s two hits (“Morning” and “Like a Child”) are now fodder for “Oldies” nights at clubs and on radio stations, or freestyle reunion shows in which Noel shares the stage with contemporaries like The Cover Girls and TKA. However, next time you hear this song, keep in mind that some of the folks dancing to it may be doing so in celebration of lives that were lost much too soon.