“There Is a Happy Land”


"There is a happy land, far far away, Where saints in glory stand, Bright bright as day, Oh how they sweetly sing, Worthy is our savior king, Loud let his praises ring." The listener is told of the pleasures of heaven and urged not to hesitate


In the Sacred Harp (where it is given with the tune-name "Happy Land"), this melody is said to be derived from Hindu religious music. I know of no supporting evidence.

Roud lumps this with another song with the title "Happy Land," but they do not appear the same to me. - RBW

"Original Sacred Harp" gives a composition date of 1838, but with no citation; pending more research, I'm going with the earliest known printed version. Much parodied, this hymn seems to have been enduringly popular in the south. And elsewhere, as witness, "Cook House," popular among soldiers of the Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. We've listed that, more or less, as "Old Soldiers Never Die (I)" - PJS

Same tune

  • Old Soldiers Never Die (I) (File: FSWB277A)

Cross references


  • Rufus Crisp, "Brighter Day" (on Crisp01)


  1. Fuson, pp. 210, "The Happy Land" (1 text)
  3. Roud #13784
  4. BI, DTtiahl


Author: Words: Andrew Young?
Earliest date: 1847 (Southern Harmony)
Keywords: religious nonballad
Found in: US(Ap)