Land of the Leal

In H.G. Wells novel "The Time Machine" the Time Traveler is whistling this song throughout the story. David Duncan included the song in the first drafts of the screenplay. At some point the lyrics were changed and Peggy Lee was to sing the song as the opening theme of the George Pal Production. I have heard that Peggy Lee did in fact make a recording of the song. For what ever reason the song was not included in the actual film.


The melody is an old air,
Hey, tuttie, tattie.

Lady Nairne wrote the words when the only child of her friend, Mrs. Archibald Campbell Colquhoun (who had been a love of Sir Walter Scott at one time) died. Robert Burns then "adapted" the lyrics further.

"Land of the Leal"
midi file by
Lesley Nelson

I'm wearin' awa' Jean,
Like snaw-wreaths in thaw, Jean,
I'm wearin' awa'
To the land o' the leal.

There's nae sorrow there, Jean
There's neither cauld nor care, Jean,
The day's aye fair
In the land o' the leal.

To me ye hae bee true Jean,
Your task's ended noo, Jean
For near kythes my view
O' the land o' the leal.

Our bonnie bairn's there, Jean,
She was baith gude and fair, Jean,
And, oh! we grud'd her sair
To the land o' the leal.

But dry that tearfu' ee Jean,
Grieve na for her and me, Jean
Frae sin and sorrow free
I' the land o' the leal.

Now fare ye weel, may ain Jean!
This warld's cares are vain, Jean,
We'll meet and aye be fein
I' the land o' the leal.

Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne ("Mrs Bogan of Bogan")

Carolina Oliphant wrote some of Scotland's best-known songs, including "Will ye no' come back again?", a lament for Prince Charles Edward Stuart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie"). She was born at Gask (Perthshire) on 17 August 1766, the daughter of a Jacobite, Laurence Oliphant. She married her cousin Major William Murray Nairne on 2 June 1806, and they lived in Edinburgh until his death in 1830. His peerage (which was stripped from the family following the Jacobite Rebellion) had been restored in 1824. Once widowed, Carolina went to Bristol with her invalid son (born 1808), then travelled widely in Europe with him before returning to Gask, where she died on 26 October 1845. Her other ballads and airs, published anonymously or under the name "Mrs Bogan of Bogan", include "The Hundred Pipers", "Caller Herrin' ", "The Land o' the Leal" (inspired by the death of a friend's infant daughter) and "The Rowan Tree".

The midi playing as well as the
information on this page is courtesy of:

If you have interests in Folk music,
Scotts, Irish or American you should visit their site.

(Words and Music by Peggy Lee)

Intended as the opening theme
"The Time Machine"
(Second draft dated 4-16-59)

When I was a wee lad
And dark was the night
Afraid I would be
Til the bright morning light
And sometimes... for comfort
Away I would steal
Away I would go to the Land of the Leal.

And soon I would be there
It took me no time
My heart would be soaring
As I made the climb
And there was the green grass
So cool and so sweet
So good to be run through
With happy bare feet!

And who was my teacher
And How did I know?
Just when to be going
And which way to go?
But always when wishing
Away I would steal
Away I would go to the Land of the Leal.

And now that I'm older
I try to be wise
But when I am troubled
I still close my eyes
And just like the wee lad
Away I will steal
Away I will go to the Land of the Leal.

For there are no questions
And there are no lies
And never a storm there
To darken the skies
The birds who are flying
No freer they feel
Than I
When I live in the Land of the Leal.


Contact us at: The Time Machine Project

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