Beulah Land (I)
DESCRIPTION: "I've reached the land of corn and wine, And all its riches freely mine... Oh, Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land... My heav'n, my home forevermore." The singer rejoices at being at home with the Savior
AUTHOR: Words: Edgar Page Stites / Music: John R. Sweney
EARLIEST DATE: 1876 (source: Morgan, p. 157)
KEYWORDS: religious nonballad
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Silber-FSWB, p. 365, "Beulah Land" (1 text)
Meredith/Covell/Brown, p. 264, "Beulah Land Mazurka" (1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Robert J. Morgan, _Then Sings My Soul, Book 2: 150 of the World's Greatest Hymn Stories_, Nelson, 2004, pp. 156-157, "Beulah Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "Saskatchewan" (tune)
cf. "Dakota Land" (tune)
cf. "O Prairie Land" (tune)
cf. "Kansas Land" (tune, form)
cf. "Kansas Fool" (tune)
cf. "Grand Idaho" (tune)
cf. "Webfoot Land" (tune, theme)
cf. "Bering Sea" (tune)
Bering Sea (File: HGam113)
O Prairie Land (File: Macl013)
NOTES: The name "Beulah," used in Isaiah 62:4, means "married"; it isn't really an appropriate name for a country, but this is not evident from the King James Version.
In its own right, this probably doesn't qualify as a folk song, but it has inspired two folk parodies (all lumped by Roud), so I include it for reference purposes. It should not be confused with "Dwelling in Beulah Land," sung by Helen Schneyer.
The authorship is a matter of dispute. Silber-FSWB lists it as by Edgar Page and John R. Sweeney (three e's). However, Morgan says the words are by Edgar P. Stites and the music by John R. Sweney (two e's). And Morgan has a biography of Stites. John Julian, editor, A Dictionary of Hymnology, 1892; second edition 1907 (I use the 1957 Dover edition in two volumes), p. 1685, would seem to explain this confusion; it reports that Ira D. Sankey, in different places, credited the words to Edgar Page and E. P. Stites, and such was Sankey's influence that his attribution to Page "stuck" even though it is likely that this is merely a transcription error for Edgar Page Stites.
Only one of eight hymnals I checked contained the piece, and hymnals are generally a poor source of authorship information anyway, but it listed Stites and Sweney as the authors, so I'm going with that spelling. - RBW
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