From George Gershwin’s 1919 revue Morris Gest’s Midnight Whirl, “Poppyland” is set in an exotic land where the poppies grow and sweethearts walk among them, enchanted by their spell.
The song was sung by Helen Shipman who at the age of nine starred in the musical version of the comic strip Little Nemo by Winsor McCay with music by Victor Herbert. Helen was also a childhood friend of George and Ira Gershwin and George was evidently quite taken with young Helen. Also singing the song with Helen was Broadway singer, comedian and former circus clown, Bernard Granville.
Download the fake-book style sheet music to “Poppyland” here: Poppyland
Lyrics to “Poppyland” by Buddy DeSylva and John Henry Mears
There is a captivating land where the skies are ever blue.
It’s made a fascinating land by poppies’ crimson hue.
You’ll see a very lovely night,
a dream of colorful delight.
Each bud is blooming for you.
So come with me where the blossoms grow in Poppyland.
What joy twill be just we two, dear, strolling hand in hand.
We’ll hear the drowsy hum of the bees,
borne upon the whispering breeze.
There I’ll tell that wonderful story, and you’ll understand.
For lurking deep in the heart of each seductive flower
that gaily blooms you will find a sweet compelling power.
And, darling, while the birds are singing above,
we will talk of nothing but love,
when we are hand in hand in Poppyland.