England might soon have its own national anthem, with God Save the Queen becoming sole the British national anthem, and most bets are on it being Jerusalem.
There is a great rendition of the song at the last Night of the Proms in 2012. What’s interesting about the song is that the words are by William Blake:
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 and pleasant land.
The strange myth at the heart of the song is that Jesus once walked on English soil: ‘And did those feet in ancient time, Walk upon England’s mountains green?’ A myth that people have believed over hundreds of years. The BBC discuss how likely this story is to be true.