There Is a Happy Land

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The grave of Andrew Young FRSE, Rosebank Cemetery, Edinburgh

There Is a Happy Land is a hymn by Andrew Young (1807–1889), a Scottish schoolmaster, and first published in 1838.[1] It now may be sung to a tune arranged by Leonard P. Breedlove.[2][3]

Young's grave is on the western wall of Rosebank Cemetery in Edinburgh and refers to his authorship of the hymn.

Cultural references[edit]

It is known for being quoted or adapted in various contexts, including the films Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), The King and I (1956),[4] and The Proposition (2005);[5] the rock song "Run Runaway" (1983) by Slade; and a parody, "There Is a Boarding-House", by Mark Twain in his novel The American Claimant (1892). The J.Giels Band song "Centerfold" also features a very similar tune being played on a keyboard [1]. It is also a favorite song of Krazy Kat, the main character from George Herriman's eponymous newspaper comic strip (1913-1944), where the song's opening verse is often willingly misspelled as "There is a heppy lend fur fur away... [sic]". In the book Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Ma sings "There is a happy land, Far far away, Where saints in glory stand, Bright, bright as day. Oh, to hear the angels sings, Glory to the Lord, our King" while waiting during the night Pa was on his way back home from the town of Independence, Kansas. In Wilder's later book By the Shores of Silver Lake Laura recounts railroad men singing the "shocking" lyrics of what is evidently Mark Twain's "There is a Boarding-House" parody, and notes that they stopped when they saw Ma.


  1. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1900). "Young, Andrew". Dictionary of National Biography. 63. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  2. ^ There is a happy land. Cyberhymnal. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  3. ^ There Is a Happy Land. Timeless Truths. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  4. ^ Quotes from The King and I (1956). IMDb. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  5. ^ Soundtracks for The Proposition. IMDb. Retrieved 18 July 2010.