A Conversation for Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

The answer is probably "no", but that would make for a far shorter anthem

Post 1


i know the reply to this is likely to be patently simple and obvious, but this Entry missed a sitter which kind of leaps from the page by its very absence....

William Blake's "Jerusalem", a poem which became a hymn beloved of the Women's Institute, the labour Pary and others, and which has been seriously and credibly toted as an English national anthem - far more rousing than the dreary dirge imploring the Divinity to save a Majesty.

I'm wondering why it isn't mentioned, and the only pausible reason I can think of is that it isn't about Jerusalem per se, as in the city in the Middle East, more about an abstract metaphysical construct, a sort of mystical Utopia that the author would like to see rising out of the tatty ashes of an increasingly industrialised England.

But then again, it demonstrates the power of the idea of Jerusalem: in the orthodox Christian sense, the city of God that we are promised will appear as a Heaven on Earth after the events of the Apocalypse and the Second Coming. Whether you believe in this or not, the enduring power of the hymn and the very fact Blake wrote it in the forst place is a testament to the ideal Jerusalem represents in the minds of many - not just a City, something more than that, touched with the divine presence and a place where god meets Man.

and if Those Feet ever walked on England's green hills in ancient times.. nothing to absolutely refute this notion, but I'd be very surprised if they did. The first two lines of the hymn followed by "Probably not" wouldn't have quite the same impact...

The answer is probably "no", but that would make for a far shorter anthem

Post 2

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

smiley - laugh I didn't include Blake's 'Jerusalem' because as far as I'm concerned, it's not about the city in the Middle East. I agree, though: Blake's poem shares the 'heavenly city' motif with other songs about Jerusalem. He just moved it to England.

Though British Israelitism would make a very good Guide Entry, hint. smiley - winkeye Or literary creations that opposed the Industrial Revolution - in which case, the poem (although not the very beautiful 1916 setting, which I imagine is why the British people love it so much) would go nicely with Wordsworth's 'The world is too much with us', among others.

The song itself is covered in the Guide Entry 'British Patriotic Songs': A794351

Glastonbury mythology is discussed in the excellent Entry on 'The Holy Grail': A87719999

But there's still a lot that could be covered here, I'm sure.
smiley - smiley

We might even start a running list of songs about Jerusalem - some others have already been mentioned.

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The answer is probably "no", but that would make for a far shorter anthem

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