St George’s Day: Check Out England’s Unofficial National Anthem – Jerusalem – Two Great Videos and the Lyrics
April 23, 2014 By Jonathan
The poem Jerusalem, written by William Blake, is often considered the unofficial national anthem for England. It was set to words by the composer Sir Hubert Parry in 1916 (pictured above) and it has cemented itself and one of the great songs about England. It’s stirring, emotional and evokes a certain feeling about England that is quite appropriate for St George’s Day.
So, we’ve dug up two versions worth listening to from YouTube.
The first is the stirring rendition from the Royal Wedding in 2011. Now, I was there for this – well not at the wedding but outside Buckingham Palace where they played the service on loudspeakers and when the whole crowd – hundreds of thousands of people – began to sing the song, I was moved beyond words and I’m not even English! It almost brings a tear to my eye to hear it today.
The second is a rendition but a YouTube user that took many pictures of England and put them in a lovely sideshow set to a nice choral version of the song.
Here are the words if you would like to sing along:
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England’s pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green & pleasant Land