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Land o' the Leal

[ Roud 8999 ; Ballad Index DTlandle ; Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne (1766-1845)]

Silly Wizard sang Land o' the Leal in 1976 on their eponymous first album on the Transatlantic/XTRA label, Silly Wizard, and their singer Andy M. Stewart returned to it in 1994 on his Green Linnet CD Man in the Moon. He noted on the CD:

For many years this song was mistakenly thought to be the work of Robert Burns until it finally emerged that it was written by Lady Nairne. Lady Nairne was descended from an old Jacobite family from Perthshire and had written many fine songs in favour of the exiled Stuarts. She was extremely modest and preferred to publish her songs anonymously. The “Land o’ the Leal” in the context of this song, means Heaven.

Jean Redpath sang Land o' the Leal in 1986 on Philo album of songs of Lady Nairne, Lady Nairne. The album was reissued in 2009 on Greentrax as Will Ye No Come Back Again?. This track was also included in 2014 on the Greentrax anthology The Scottish Diaspora.

Janet Russell sang Land o' the Leal in 1988 on her Harbourtown album Gathering the Fragments.

Annie Grace sang Land o' the Leal in 2004 on her Greentrax album Take Me Out Drinking Tonight.

Chris Miles sang I Am Wearin Awa, John at the Fife Traditional Singing Festival, Collessie, Fife, in May 2005. This recording was released in the following year on the festival anthology For Friendship and for Harmony (Old Songs & Bothy Ballads Volume 2). The album notes commented:

A version of this old song may have given Lady Nairne the inspiration to write her verses The Land o the Leal in 1798.

Alistair Ogilvy sang Land o' the Leal on the TMSA Young Trad Tour 2011.

Hannah Rarity learned Land o' the Leal from the singing of Rod Paterson, and recorded it for her 2018 CD Neath the Gloaming Star. She also sang it, accompanied by Ryan MacKenzie, Conal McDonagh and Bernadette Kellermann, in a video recorded at Castlesound Studios in November 2016:

Bobby Eaglesham sang Land o' the Leal on the 2018 Fellside anthology Destination: Fellside Recordings 1976-2018.


The Land o' the Leal

I'm wearin' awa', John,
Like snaw-wreaths in thaw, John,
I'm wearin' awa'
    To the land o' the leal.
There 's nae sorrow there, John,
There 's neither cauld nor care, John,
The day is aye fair
    In the land o' the leal.

Our bonnie bairn 's there, John,
She was baith gude and fair, John;
And O! we grudged her sair
    To the land o' the leal.
But sorrow's sel' wears past, John,
And joy 's a-coming fast, John,
The joy that 's aye to last
    In the land o' the leal.

Sae dear 's the joy was bought, John,
Sae free the battle fought, John,
That sinfu' man e'er brought
    To the land o' the leal.
O, dry your glistening e'e, John!
My saul langs to be free, John,
And angels beckon me
    To the land o' the leal.

O, haud ye leal and true, John!
Your day it 's wearin' through, John,
And I'll welcome you
    To the land o' the leal.
Now fare-ye-weel, my ain John,
This warld's cares are vain, John,
We'll meet, and we'll be fain,
    In the land o' the leal.

Source: Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed., The Oxford Book of English Verse (1919)