HIGHLANDS OF HEAVEN
(J.D. Arnold, 1869)
Sinner, go, will you go,
To the Highlands of Heaven;
Where the storms never blow,
And the long summer's given?
Where the bright, blooming flow'rs
Are their odors emitting;
And the leaves of the bowers
On the breezes are flitting.
Where the saints robed in white,
Cleansed in life's flowing fountain,
Shining, beauteous and bright,
Shall inhabit the mountain.
Where no sin, nor dismay
Neither trouble or sorrow,
Will be felt for today,
Nor be feared for the morrow.
note: After you've stopped giggling (no-one believes for one moment
the religious version of these transmuted folk songs came
1st, I don't think) you have to admit that bears a fair
resemblence to "WMT"; they still manage to get the flow'rs
& the bower & the fountain & the mountain in there, even
though the lads & lassies now have loftier thoughts on their
further note: American readers may not know that it was just front
page headline news in the British newspapers that Rod Stewart's
latest album had to be rapidly recalled because he'd claimed
authorship on Francis McPeake's "Wild Mountain Thyme" (yes he
did write that, it's not trad as many people assume). Some get
caught, some get away with it. How far back in time does McPeake's
The "Braes of Balquhidder" tune is cited in the booklet for the Social
Harp recording as a parent for both the Sacred Harp "Highlands of
Heaven" & the Social Harp "Buonaparte (on St. Helena)". True,
the Social Harp version of "Boney" doesn't sound a heck of a lot
like "WMT" or even Mary Black's version of "Boney", & Mary Black's
"Boney" doesn't sound too much like the well-known version of
"WMT", (but if think about it I can sort-of convince myself; I'll
have to play them all back to back to try & really convince myself
sometime) but the scholars say so, & an old-timey version.
Jeff Warner (or Davis? I'm getting my Jeffs mixed up; its late) did at the
recent NEFFA does tie them all together. Said booklet traces "Boney"
back to something called "The Forget Me Not Songster", no date given.
Booklet notes by Daniel W. Patterson.
The ties between the Sacred Harp "Highlands of Heaven" & McPeake's "WMT"
are more obvious. I'll have to crank up the tape recorder for
various recorded (not commerically, though) versions of "Highlands"
just to make sure I really mean that on the tune (I believe I do),
but the words are pretty obvious. IA
copyright held by Sacred Harp publishing co, Bremen GA
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