Jerusalem (And did those feet in ancient time)

This English hymn is based on a poem by Will­iam Blake written in approx 1804 - although some sources attribute the first two lines to John Mil­ton.

It was set to Charles H. H. Par­ry's tune JERUSALEM published in 1916 and became popular as a hymn after Elgar added to the tune in 1922. This has meter of LMD - 8.8.8.8.8.8.8.8

Like Bread and Fishes (aka Wind in the Willows), the lyrics may be based on the folk­lore that Jesus visited Britain. However the references to Jesus are oblique, leading to it being unwelcome in some English churches today, or used only as a nationalistic song rather than a hymn.

It is the unofficial anthem of the Women's Institute, partly because of its association with the women's suffrage movement in the early 20th century.


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Sheet music for purchase

Sheet Music Plus Homepage Many different arrangements (choral and instrumental) are available.

On-line samples


Lyrics:

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 those dark satanic mills?

Bring me by 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.

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