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The Author of ‘There is a Happy Land.'

Mr Andrew Young, the author of ' There is a happy land,’ the most popular Sunday school hymn in the world, addressed the Wesleyan children’s service in the Albert Hall, Edinburgh, on a recent Sunday, He is now eighty years of age, still mentally and physically vigorous, and retaining in all its early freshness his sympathy with children. The hymn was composed in 1838. The tune to which it is married is an old Indian air, which has blended with the music of the woods in the primeval forest long before Sunday schools were thought of. The hymn was composed for the melody. Its bright and strongly marked phrases struck Mr Young’s musical ear the first time he heard it casually played in the drawing room. He asked for it again and again. It haunted him. Being accustomed to relieve the clamor of his thoughts and feelings in rhyme, words naturally followed, and so the hymn was created, Mr Young happened to have his hymn performed in the presence of his intimate friend, Mr Gall, a member of the publishing firm of Gall and Inglis, It got into print. It has been translated into nineteen different languages. And yet the author has never received, and, indeed, has never been offered, a penny in remuneration.

It ia only recently that Professor David Masson, referring to the unique influence of this lyric, stated a most touching incident in the life of Thackeray. Walking one day in a “ slum ” district in London he suddenly came upon a baud of gutter children sitting on the pavement. They were singing. Drawing nearer he heard the words ‘ There" is a happy land, far, far away ! ’ As he looked at the ragged choristers and their squalid surroundings, and saw that their pale faces were lit up with a thought which brought both forgetfulness and hope, the tender-hearted cynic burst into tears. - - ‘ Methodist Recorder.’

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890914.2.31.14

Bibliographic details

The Author of ‘There is a Happy Land.', Evening Star, Issue 8012, 14 September 1889, Supplement

Word Count
323

The Author of ‘There is a Happy Land.' Evening Star, Issue 8012, 14 September 1889, Supplement

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