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Origin: Happy Land

DigiTrad:
OLD SOLDIERS NEVER DIE
OLD SOLDIERS NEVER DIE (2)
RISE AND SHINE
THERE IS A HAPPY LAND
THERE IS A HAPPY LAND 2


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Kind Words Can Never Die (A Hutchinson) (10)
Happy Land CD (Laura Ingalls Wilder Tribute) (5)


Chocolate Pi 02 Mar 00 - 10:58 PM
Sandy Paton 03 Mar 00 - 12:24 AM
Stewie 05 Mar 00 - 01:07 AM
sheila 05 Mar 00 - 05:30 AM
dick greenhaus 05 Mar 00 - 06:59 PM
Sandy Paton 05 Mar 00 - 08:03 PM
Chocolate Pi 08 Mar 00 - 12:21 AM
Chocolate Pi 06 Jun 00 - 08:48 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jun 06 - 04:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jun 06 - 10:58 PM
Artful Codger 11 Jun 06 - 05:56 PM
Artful Codger 11 Jun 06 - 06:03 PM
Paul Burke 12 Jun 06 - 04:55 AM
Will Fly 11 Aug 08 - 05:04 AM
GUEST,Dave MacKenzie 11 Aug 08 - 06:19 PM
sian, west wales 12 Aug 08 - 04:50 AM
GUEST,June Butler 25 Jan 12 - 11:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Jan 12 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,SteveG 26 Jan 12 - 04:02 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Jan 12 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,SteveG 26 Jan 12 - 05:27 PM
GeoffLawes 26 Jan 12 - 06:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Jan 12 - 09:01 PM
GUEST,Kevin Lewin 24 Aug 12 - 08:58 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 24 Aug 12 - 09:11 AM
MGM·Lion 24 Aug 12 - 10:51 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Aug 12 - 11:18 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Aug 12 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,RB-1 24 Aug 12 - 06:14 PM
Joybell 25 Aug 12 - 02:10 AM
Joe Offer 25 Aug 12 - 03:21 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Aug 12 - 12:38 PM
Joybell 25 Aug 12 - 05:00 PM
Joe Offer 12 May 14 - 02:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 May 14 - 03:26 PM
Joe Offer 12 May 14 - 05:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 May 14 - 06:21 PM
Stilly River Sage 12 May 14 - 06:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 May 14 - 07:08 PM
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Subject: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Chocolate Pi
Date: 02 Mar 00 - 10:58 PM

This evening at the Sacred Harp sing, we did 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, Praise, praise for aye."

Someone said they had heard that the tune was South Asian and had been collected and filtered through a Scotch influence, and someone else said there had been a country-western type arrangement of it that was popular some years back. Some people knew different words to the tune ("Old soldiers never die ...", for example).

At this point, I'm really curious about the tune, lyrics, and history of Happy Land. So, a question to all you 'Catters: what do you know about this tune? According to the Sacred Harp book, it was arranged by L.P. Breedlove in 1850. Are there earlier occurrences? Is there any evidence supporting the hypothesis that it's Asian in origin? What other words to it are there? And who did the recent arrangement?

I'm looking forward to see what people know about this one.

Chocolate Pi


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 03 Mar 00 - 12:24 AM

Robin Hall used to sing a Scottish gem:

There is a happy land
Doon in Duke Street Jail,
Where a' the convicts stand
Wi' their mops and pail.
Ham and eggs they'll never see,
Dirty water for their tea,
There they live in misery,
Doon in Duke Street Jail.

Same tune. I recorded it in a medley of kids' songs on my 1959 Elektra recording.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Stewie
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 01:07 AM

The Sacred Harp website says the tune was written by Breedlove in 1850, but the words were written by Andrew Young in 1838. The Cyber Hymnal says the words were written by Young at some undetermined date before 1905, but the tune is of Hindustani origin. Make of all that what you will.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: sheila
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 05:30 AM

My mother (from Edinburgh) used to sing a version related to the Robin Hall one
There is a happy land
in the Calton Jail
where all the prisoners stand
pissing in a pail
I don't remember the rest of it, though.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 06:59 PM

Mark Twain quoted:

There is a boarding house, far, far away
Where they serve ham and eggs, three times a day
You should hear the boarders yell
When they hear that dinner bell
They give that landlord h***
Three times a day.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 05 Mar 00 - 08:03 PM

Utah Phillips called me a few months ago, looking for that boarding house version for a friend, Dick. He had been told, by a DJ with a looonnnng memory, that I sang the Duke Street Jail thing. I had actually forgotten it was on the Elektra album. Is there any way you can send your text off to him? Do you have an E-mail address for him, or can you reach him via his web site?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Chocolate Pi
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 12:21 AM

Thanks for all the different sets of lyrics! Any information on the tune, especially the rumored recent bouncy version?

Chocolate Pi (who should be studying for her electrochemistry exam tomorrow)


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Chocolate Pi
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 08:48 PM

hey, I'm refreshing this because it's come up again on the fasola.org mailing list.
The song appears briefly in "The King and I," and also, of all places, in "Arsenic and Old Lace." It's apparently pentatonic (at least the SH tenor part, the melody), and is also the title of and parodied by a Bowie song.
The question is, who came up with the tune? The current suggestion is that a missonary collected it and rearranged it with Christian words. any info out there?


Chocolate Pi (who has a calculus final tomorrow)


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 04:38 PM

There is an error in verse two of "There is a Happy Land" (1) in the DT. "We (We'll)" should replace second 'reign' in the last line -

And bright above the sun, We'll reign for aye!
("Franklin Square Song Collection," ed. J. P. McCaskey, 1881 (1898 Harper reprint), p. 99).

And bright above the sun, We reign for aye.
Cyberhymnal


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Subject: RE: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jun 06 - 10:58 PM

The double 'reign' is used in the "Song Book of the Salvation Army."


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Subject: RE: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Artful Codger
Date: 11 Jun 06 - 05:56 PM

Some additional info on "Happy Land":

Southern Harmony (per this web page) has "We'll" instead of "reign", and transposes verses 2 and 3. This transposition also occurs in The Social Harp (1855), per the lyrics given by The Boston Camerata on The American Vocalist. Both of these other sources have "live" instead of "dwell" in the 3rd (their 2nd) verse.

The Southern Harmony page gives Leonard as Breedlove's first name.


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Subject: RE: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Artful Codger
Date: 11 Jun 06 - 06:03 PM

See also the thread on "Kind Words Can Never Die".


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Subject: RE: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Paul Burke
Date: 12 Jun 06 - 04:55 AM

Salford version:

There is a happy land
Far far away,
Where little piggies run
Three times a day.

Oh you should see them run
When they see the butcher come-
Three slices off their bum,
Three times a day.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 05:04 AM

Interesting that your version comes from Salford.

This is what my mother sang to me when I was very small:

There is a happy land, far far away,
Where little piggies run, three times a day.
You should see those piggies run, when they see the butcher come.
He cuts slices off their bum, three times a day.

My mum was born in Lowestoft, and I'd always imagined she got these words from Suffolk folk - but, as she'd married a Lancashire man, we lived in Lancashire. So perhaps she learned it, as a young wife, in Lancashire...


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: GUEST,Dave MacKenzie
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 06:19 PM

The version I knew in Edinburgh (early 60s) goes

There is a happy land
Down in Duke Street Gaol
Where all the prisoners stand
Tied to a nail.
Ham an' eggs they never see;
Dirty waater for their tea;
There they live an' there they dee -
God Save the Queen.


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Subject: RE: Help: 'Happy Land' Variations
From: sian, west wales
Date: 12 Aug 08 - 04:50 AM

Oh, why did Will have to resurrect this thread???? Now I'm going to have that tune banging around in my head all day. What's worse, it seems to be The Pogues singing; did THEY do a version of it, or have I got a warped personal hard drive?

sian


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: GUEST,June Butler
Date: 25 Jan 12 - 11:45 PM

There's a nice version of the hymn sung by a child on video taken from the movie 'The Proposition'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivAnI2dll8Q


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 03:41 PM

The text of the hymn (as printed in Southern Harmony) has been posted in the thread 4975.
Kind Words Can Never Die


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 04:02 PM

The tune is also very close to 'Li'l Liza Jane' Not quite the same format but same phrases. It's a fabulously simple tune but very catchy. I have something of a pop song in my head to the tune that finishes 'run run away'.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 04:25 PM

I'd guess that Happy Land has as many or more parodies than Beulah Land (such as "Dakota Land").

When I was a kid my father used to sing one very similar to the boarding house/Happy Land variation mentioned above:

There is a boarding house, far, far away
Where they serve ham and eggs, three times a day
Oh how the boarders yell
When they hear the dinner bell
Oh, how those eggs do smell,
Far, far, away.

I vaguely remember that he might have gotten that from Burl Ives? It was one of his earliest songs and he was still getting a lot of them off of records. It falls in the same type of down-and-out and hobo songs as "Big Rock Candy Mountain" that Ives was singing. Note to self to go check the 10" LP I think it might have come from.

Barre Toelken is an anthropologist and folklorist who made a study of how Beulah Land went through transformations over time - I suspect the same arguments could be made for Happy Land. I heard Toelken talk about it in a concert he gave - what he discussed was probably a fraction of the material he had, and it might be worthwhile checking to see if he looked at other popular hymn tunes and lyrics as well.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 05:27 PM

Check out 'Run Runaway' by Slade 1983, written by Jim Lea and Noddy Holder, a big hit in the States as well as over here, and consequently taken up by the football fans.'Do you like red and white?' etc., on the terraces, not heard so often now.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 06:59 PM

The Song COOKHOUSE, which is strongly associated with the Spanish Civil War, seems to derive its verse tune from HAPPY LAND although the chorus tune comes from another 19th Century song KIND WORDS CAN NEVER DIE. Q gives the link above to the thread detailing his well researched information which links the two songs in World War One: The chorus was printed in F. T. Nettleingham, 1917, "Tommy's Tunes," no. 53, p. 58, "Old Soldiers Never Die," tune given as "Kind Words Can Never Die." A parody

COOKHOUSE as performed by Pete Seeger & The Almanac Singers      

From the Album: Canciones De Las Brigadas Internacionales -
Songs Of The International Brigade.

There is an old cookhouse not far away
Where we get sweet damn all, three times a day.
Ham and eggs we never see,damn all sugar in our tea,
and we are gradually,fading away.

Old soldiers never die,
Never die, never die,
Old soldiers never die
They just fade away.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 09:01 PM

I remember "Old Soldiers Never Die" was often played on the air when General MacArthur was removed from his command by President Truman.

The song became an earworm to me.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: GUEST,Kevin Lewin
Date: 24 Aug 12 - 08:58 AM

My Father used to sing to me

There is a happy land far far away
where they sell ham and eggs three times a day
Oh see those piggies run when the see the butcher come
Oh see those piggies run three times a day.

I'm now 66 years old but still sing this silly ditty in the shower.

Dad's been dead for 15 years and it keeps him in my memory along with the other ditties he used to sing to me in bed with mum and my sister oh so many years ago.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 24 Aug 12 - 09:11 AM

Are the hymn versions related somehow to "Happy Land Of Canaan" recorded by Lord Invader? "Happy Land Of Canaan" is apparently an old Spiritual Baptist hymn.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 24 Aug 12 - 10:51 AM

The Opies noted the 'little piggies' version in The Lore and Language of School Children (1959) as having been "Sixty years ago ... extraordinarily popular (known in places as different as Eastbourne and Hay in Breconshire)", in the Chapter called 'Parody And Impropriety'; along with another, presumably contemporary but, unusually, unsourced, version about "bread and jam, three times a day. Oh how the angels yell, When they hear the dinner-bell..."

In the later chapter, 'The Child And Authority' ~

"In Kirkcaldy they sing to the well-known hymn tune:

There is a happy land by the 'Red School'
Where Miss Macdonald stands, preaching like a fool.
Long legs and skinny jaws,
She can fairly use the tawse
On the wee bit bairnies' paws,
Three times a day."

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Aug 12 - 11:18 AM

I have to smile every time this thread comes to the top. When I see the words on the screen (or page) I hear them sung in my head. It is impossible to read them in a spoken voice because of having sung it often and of the conversations with my folksinger father (John Dwyer). Part my early liberal education was when Dad was learning new songs and he would explain about how the same tune could be used and how similar words could be used. "Parody" and "ditty" were part of my youthful vocabulary.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Aug 12 - 03:43 PM

Geoff Lawes, "Cookhouse"-

To those of us who served in WW2 and later, these verses are linked to "Old Soldiers Never Die," often sung when General MacArthur was dismissed and he quoted "old Soldiers...," (used as a chorus to "Cookhouse" in American versions), in his farewell speech.
See Link at top of this thread.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: GUEST,RB-1
Date: 24 Aug 12 - 06:14 PM

Here's our trio Skyland's version.
We recorded it early January 2003 for our CD 'Moon over the Water'.
About two months later our friend and lead singer Theo died.
We carried on with Skyland until 2006.
I played mandolin and sang the middle voice in second part of the verses.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Joybell
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 02:10 AM

For what It's worth the performer I'm studying sang a song he wrote in 1855 to this tune. It was sung at the Sal De Valentino (The Old Sally)in Melbourne. It was called Unlock the Lands. At the time small farmers, in Victoria Australia, were not allowed to buy into the large farms even with the permission of the land-holder.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: ADD: Unlock the Land
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 03:21 AM

I was going to chide Joybell for telling us of a song and then teasing us by not posting the lyrics, but I found the song. Is this the right one, Joy?

UNLOCK THE LAND (an Australian Ballad)

Why in this sunny land of gold
Rich soil and wealth containing,
Should we from day to day behold
The unemployed complaining?
What is the cause that honest skill
Finds here no scope to ply it?
While ready hands the earth would till
Why lack they room to try it?

O, rulers wise! 'tis justice cries,
That all may share the soil;
Unlock the lands - there's willing hands
That want but room to toil.

The peasant, poor, came here to seek
A spot where hope might cheer him;
Where he might find each closing week,
His toil's reward more near him.

Where he should find, when work oppress'd,
and wintry age steals o'er him,
His life's last stage with plenty blessed,
A calm repose before him.

O, rulers wise! 'tis justice cries
That these may share the soil;
Unlock the lands - their willing hands
Should reap the fruits of toil.
*
Missing
*
*

Not squatters rich or mines of gold,
Can make Australia flourish;
But horny hands the plough that hold,
It's surest wealth can nourish:

For they would crown her sandy plains
With harvest's golden treasure;
But 'tis with those who rule remains
To grant the needful measure.

The rulers wise, regard the cries
Of thousands seeking toil;
Unlock the lands - and thriving hands
Shall dress a happy soil.


first published in the 'Victorian Songster' Melbourne in 1855: Price one shilling.

from Grandpa Pencil's Australian colonial verse and song

Joybell says the melody is "Happy Land"


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 12:38 PM

I have a hard time trying to sing "Unlock the Land" to "Happy Land".

Or Australians place stress in most peculiar places.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Joybell
Date: 25 Aug 12 - 05:00 PM

Oh Yes! Clever fellow, Joe! I thought I'd found the one I wanted too. Sorry to say that this is another song with the same subject.   I should have mentioned it. Q is quite right it doesn't fit.
The subject sparked a big debate at the time. I don't know if there's a connection between the two songs.
My Barlow's songs are hard to find. I've found a few complete ones and a few fragments. He was doing theatre really and the songs were just a part of his acts. They weren't meant to stand alone. Except for one and it's not unknown. More about that soon.
I've nearly finished my study of this man and his songs will be part of my finished work.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: ADD: There Is a Boarding House
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 May 14 - 02:33 PM

Click here for an interesting note from Mark Twain's Own Autobiography.

Twain's daughter Susy claimed that he wrote these words:

    There is a boarding house, far, far away
    Where they serve ham and eggs, three times a day
    Oh, don't those boarders yell
    When they hear the dinner bell
    They give that landlord rats
    Three times a day.

Twain says:

    Again, Susy has made a small error. It was not I that wrote the song. I heard Billy Rice sing it in the negro minstrel show, and I brought it home and sang it - with great spirit - for the elevation of the household. The children admired it to the limit, and made me sing it with burdensome frequency. To their minds, it was superior to the Battle Hymn of the Republic.


Mark Twain's Notebooks & Journals also has an interesting comment.

(Note that there is just a slight difference from the words Dick Greenhaus posted.)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 May 14 - 03:26 PM

To add little, except the link.

Lyr. Add: HAPPY LAND Tune arr.; Leonard P. Breedlove, 1850
Alto: Miss Henrietta Spivey, 1902
Lyrics: Andrew Young, 1838
Meter: Particular Meter: 6,4,6,4,6,7, 6, 4

There is a happy land,
Far, far away.
Where saints in glory stand,
Bright, bright as day.
O how they sweetly sing,
Worthy is our Saviour King,
Loud let His praises ring,
Praise, praise for aye.


Come to the happy land,
Come, come away.
Why will you doubting stand?
O we shall happy be,
When from sin and sorrow free,
Lord we shall live with thee,
Blest, blest for aye.

http://texasfasola.org/resources/index/poetry/348a.html


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 May 14 - 05:40 PM

It certainly is an intriguing melody. Up above, Stewie quotes Cyber Hymnal as saying the melody is of Hindustani origin. In an American gospel hymn? Go figure.
There's gotta be a good story behind THAT.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 May 14 - 06:21 PM

I tried to look into the origin and came up with nothing "Hindustani" on the tune. Dunno!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 12 May 14 - 06:27 PM

I read this thread last night and the tune stuck around in my head till I went to bed. What an earworm!

SRS


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Subject: RE: Origin: Happy Land
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 May 14 - 07:08 PM

Southern Harmony, current edition, credits the tune to Leonard P. Breedlove.

The 1847 edition, in the one I found on the net, takes a long time to load and peruse. I gave up, perhaps others can run through it more rapidly.
The Trad Ballad Index gives the 1847 Southern Harmony as the starting point.


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