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A87904029 - Three Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Entry: Three Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations - A87904029
Author: Dmitri Gheorgheni - U1590784

Why do they sing about Jerusalem? Is it history? Is it religion? Is it Jerusalem Syndrome?

A brief exploration, with tons of links.

smiley - dragon


A87904029 - Three Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 2

minorvogonpoet

This is ambitious, Dmitri! Taking on one of the oldest and most intransigent of arguments.Though you've stayed even handed smiley - applause

As always, your article is well written and informative. However, I wasn't sure at the end whether the '1878 poem' is the 'Hatikvah' or something else.


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Thanks for reading and commenting, MVP. smiley - hug

I went back and rethought that sentence. I also rethought the title - I've mentioned more than three songs - and added something at the beginning. I hope it's all a bit clearer now. That turned into a long journey. smiley - laugh


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 4

minorvogonpoet

Thanks for the clarificationsmiley - smiley.

I've checked all the links and found that 'Lamentation over Boston' isn't available where I hang out.


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 5

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Thank you for checking those links, kind person! It's always those 'official' videos that aren't available everywhere, isn't it? smiley - doh

I've replaced that link with a less commercial one - let me know if you can hear the bombast now. (And please ignore the comments - obviously these people have no musical sense of humour.) smiley - winkeye


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 6

minorvogonpoet

OK, I can hear it now...though I might describe it as a dirge!smiley - laugh


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 7

Dmitri Gheorgheni

That's our William Billings! smiley - rofl


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 8

Bluebottle

Ooh, this wasn't what I was expecting at all. smiley - smiley

Incidentally, The Melodians never made it across the Atlantic. Boney M's smiley - disco cover 'Rivers of Babylon/Brown Girl in the Ring', however, was huge. And I mean huge. Officially it is the UK's 6th biggest-selling song of all time, after 'Candle in the Wind (Diana's Snuffed It)' by Elton John, 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' by Band Aid, 'Mull of Kintyre' by Sir Paul McCartney and Wings, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen and 'You're The One That I Want' by Olivia Newton-John Travolta. (In comparison, 'White Christmas' is about the 140th best-selling single of all time in the UK, mainly based on sales in 1977 when Bing Crosby died, as initial sales on first release was before the chart started).

<BB<


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 9

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Oh, yeah - I remember that Boney M version. For the same reason: I lived in Europe at the time. smiley - rofl Which is why mentioning Rasputin is not a good idea...

I am pleased to have surprised you, BB. smiley - laugh


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 10

Bluebottle

I must admit I was expecting you to be writing about William Blake's 'Jerusalem':
'And did those smiley - footprints in ancient time walk upon England's mountain's green?'
to which the answer is 'no'.

I know how much you've enjoyed critiquing patriotic songs in the past and thought you'd be analysing one of England's most patriotic songs from a US perspective. After all, Americans have turned 'God Save the Queen' into 'My Country 'Tis of Thee' (which is fair enough, considering we nicked it in the first place) and not content to set every Shakespeare adaptation in American High Schools, the US have turned Elgar's 'Land of Hope and Glory' into a song set in American High Schools too.

Blake's poem 'Jerusalem' combined with Sir Hubert Parry's music is very enjoyable nonsense that is great fun singing along to at the proms. Lots of imagery about Satanic Mills, bows of burning gold, chariots of fire etc before concluding with the moving line, 'Till we have built Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land'. If you think of singing about 'England's green and pleasant land' in the same way you sing of 'sky of blue and sea of green in our Yellow Submarine' it is perfectly fine. But as with all patriotic songs, some people like to take it a bit further. And let's face it, England won't be a green and pleasant land much longer if you keep building gurt big cities all over it. If I had to choose a foreign city to build in England, my choice would be for one about the size of Wells or smaller, with lovely architecture and culture - and a flat-line crime rate. Of all the cities on smiley - earth, Jerusalem – despite/because of its unique place in history – comes with a lot of baggage. Do we really want the hassle?

<BB<


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 11

Dmitri Gheorgheni

I briefly considered including Blake's 'Jerusalem', but didn't, for the reasons you've mentioned. smiley - laugh Such as, it has nothing to do with Jerusalem, either the earthly or the heavenly, especially the way it's used today. Which is a shame: Blake meant it to be a call to reform. At least, I think he did.

Blake, of course - who was nutty as two fruitcakes, which is why I love him - never met a conspiracy theory he didn't like. He dressed up like a Druid, was a British Israelite, and had angels over for supper (and two glasses of porter every night). Blake had Jerusalem syndrome without leaving the comforts of home...

I agree wholeheartedly: why not build a smaller, prettier town? But then, most English would hate it if it was 'foreign-looking', wouldn't they? Why monkey with the perfection that is the green and pleasant land? smiley - winkeye

Believe it or not, Philadelphia was originally conceived as following the model of the heavenly Jerusalem. You can see how *that* turned out.

Speaking of 'Pomp and Circumstance', as we call the Elgar gem: you just brought up a memory. One fine day in 1970, they assembled all of us seniors in the auditorium to practice for the graduation ceremony.There was no music, so at the instigation of some choir members, all the guys hesitation-stepped into the aisles whistling 'Land of Hope and Glory', a la 'Bridge Over the River Kwai'. So our last act as high schoolers was to annoy the vice principal.smiley - evilgrin

I'd love to read your version of a 'Jerusalem'-based guide entry. Unfortunately, there's no US perspective on it. Nobody who doesn't watch the Proms, which is 99.9% of the population here, has ever heard of the song.


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 12

Bluebottle

Thanks for sharing the story about graduation smiley - whistlesmiley - prof

I just remembered that when we were planning our wedding 15 years ago, my wife read in a magazine that 'Jerusalem' is the most popular wedding hymn in the UK. Possibly because couples getting married in a church suddenly think, 'smiley - yikes, I've got to choose a song what mentions God and isn't 'Away in a Manger' or 'God Save the Queen' - smiley - erm'
In fact it was so popular that the Church of England had officially banned its use as a wedding hymn on the grounds that it is nonsense, until of course Prince William and Kate Middleton announced they wanted it in their ceremony too.
Still not particularly romantic, is it? I'd say more smiley - brokenheart than smiley - love - well, unless you are Cupid asking, 'Bring me my Bow of burning gold, Bring me my Arrows of desire'. Are 'clouded hills' a euphemism? As for 'Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand', I don't want to know what that means in a marital context.

Do you think that 'Hey babe, want to build Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant Land? Nudge nudge, know what I mean, know what I mean – say no more!' would make a good chat-up line this Valentine's Day?

Anyway, sorry about going a bit off topic, I'll write about what you've actually written next time, honest! smiley - offtopic

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A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 13

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - snorksmiley - snorksmiley - snork That riff was so much more entertaining than talking about the entry...

I shall never hear 'Jerusalem' the same way again.


A87904029 - Some Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

Post 14

Bluebottle

smiley - offtopic(Incidentally I mean no offense to anyone who had 'Jerusalem' as a hymn at their own wedding and hope you see my comments above as being smiley - silly good natured banter in nature rather than criticism. If I didn't like the song, I wouldn't enjoy playing with it.)smiley - offtopic

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A87904029 - Three Songs About Jerusalem: With a Few Explanations

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