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17 May 2015

A poem by William Blake.


Blake’s poem provides the lyrics for one of England’s most familiar hymns.


Beautiful Writing

14 Comments to “Jerusalem”

  1. My favorite. So gorgeous.

  2. And you posted this on Yom Yerushalayem, Jerusalem Day–the anniversary of the day that the IDF liberated the Temple Mount and Jews were once again allowed to pray at their holiest site.

    Thanks, PG.

    Here’s a different song about Jerusalem. By sheer chance, it was a big hit in 1967, written before the war. Ofra Haza was an amazing singer who unfortunately died of AIDS, but her version is amazing. It’s a beautiful song.


    • Before posting the rest, I prefer her version to the ones I’ve seen.

      That said, it was based, likely unconsciously, on a Basque lullaby[*]. Also, there’s another video out there with a selection of Israeli stills that’s pretty impressive (I’m not a fan of live recordings, either).

      Take care.

      [*] Wiki talks about plagiarism. Silly. The performer OH met was not the composer, who’s been dead almost 150 yeas. It a folk tune with sometimes improvised lyrics.

  3. Brilliant. Never fails to move me (almost) beyond words.

  4. Another beautiful song and beautiful singer.


    Hava Nagila – Amrutam Gamaya

  5. I admit, I once shouted out “No!” to the question in the first paragraph.

    Head teacher of Catholic comprehensive school not amused.

  6. This never fails to make me cry. I have lived in the US for many years, but England is still home. “Land of Hope and Glory” (Pomp and Circumstane to Yanks) has the same effect. I literally bawl at graduations!

  7. There’s a very old legend in the UK that Jesus visited Britain as a young boy, with his uncle Joseph of Arimathea. They’re said to have planted a thorn tree near Glastonbury that still blooms to this day. It’s not possible, of course–few first century people knew about the British Isles’ existence, much less traveled there. But a charming story. This tale is probably the basis for the first few lines of the poem/song.

    • Marco’s Pendulum and Marco and the Blade of Night – YA novels by Thom Madley – play off of that old legend. I found them to be enjoyable reads.

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