Monday, January 23, 2012


Today Ormonde Plater remembers the anniversary of the death of Yona Kanamuzeyi, deacon and martyr, killed in Rwanda on 23 January 1964. Yona walked to his death singing the 1938 Scottish hymn “There Is a 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.

Come to that happy land, come, come away;
Why will ye doubting stand, why still delay?
Oh, we shall happy be, when from sin and sorrow free,
Lord, we shall live with Thee, blest, blest for aye.

Bright, in that happy land, beams every eye;
Kept by a Father’s hand, love cannot die.
Oh, then to glory run; be a crown and kingdom won;
And, bright, above the sun, we reign for aye.
[Source: Proposition Sound Track] [Original Source: There Is a Happy Land" 1850] [Music by Leonard P. Breedlove (1850)] [Words by Andrew Young (1838)]

After I read the lyrics of the hymn, I looked on YouTube to see if here was a version of the hymn and found the video above. The hymn, along with other sad and haunting music, which was composed (except for the hymn) and performed by Nick Cave and violinist Warren Ellis, is on the soundtrack album of the movie "The Proposition".

UPDATE: Sadly, the soundtrack album includes only an instrumental version of the hymn.