James Matthew Barrie? Peter Pan? Betty Comden? Adolph Green? Mary Martin? Apocryphal
Dear Quote Investigator: James Matthew Barrie created the famous fictional character Peter Pan. Barrie has received credit for the following statement:
So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned.
This sentiment fits the world of Peter Pan, but I have been unable to find it in Barrie’s oeuvre. Would you please explore its provenance?
Quote Investigator: QI conjectures that these words were derived from the lyrics of the song “Never Never Land” written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green for the 1954 Broadway musical version of “Peter Pan”. The first two lines of the song were: 1
I know a place where dreams are born,
And time is never planned.
Comden and Green were inspired by Barrie’s work, but they crafted the song lyrics. Barrie has received credit for other modified lines. For example, the line “Just think of happy things” has been attributed to Barrie, but the song contains:
Just think of lovely things,
And your heart will fly on wings,
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 2002, Broadway Volume II: Complete Lyrics for 200 Songs From 116 Musicals, Series: The Lyric Library, Song: Never Never Land, Quote Page 144, Published by Hal Leonard. (Verified with scans) ↩