Behind the Song: Sweet Beulah Land
Sweet Beulah Land is the best known song referring to the land of Beulah to audience’s today. The song focuses on heaven and how wonderful it will be.
Composer and performer Squire Parsons wrote Sweet Beulah Land in 1973. Parson’s was a young band director, focusing on the hymn Is This Not the Land of Beulah. He sat in his band room, having arrived early, and wrote on a scrap of paper the lyrics that had been running through his mind. Sitting, at the piano, he began to compose the music to these lyrics.
In an interview published by the Cullman Times, Parsons said he wasn’t trying to write a song, but “the phrases just kept coming.”
The song was not recorded for another six years, until 1979. By this time he had joined the Kingsmen Quartet. However, he re-discovered the song that had been tucked away while searching for songs for his first solo recording. In just a few moments, the words to the second verse flowed from his heart to his pen. After he finished writing the second verse, he titled the composition Sweet Beulah Land.
In 1981, the song was the number one Southern Gospel Single. The composition also won the Singing News Fan Awards for Song of the Year that same year.
Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress gives the following definition of the term Land of Beulah: “the peaceful land in which the pilgrim awaits the call to the Celestial City”
This popular arrangement has been recorded by a variety of other artists.
Parsons has gone on to write over 800 songs, a vast majority of which are published or recorded.