On Jerusalem

That Jerusalem should be the English (sporting) national anthem.

Whose idea is this? David Cameron\’s. According to the ConservativeHome website, he recently made the suggestion to some young Tories visiting Downing Street. He\’s even willing to overlook Blake\’s anti-enterprise agenda.

Bloody nonsense. Billy Bragg, in the only sensible thing the man has ever said, has been arguing for this for years. Indeed, he\’s been arguing, as I do persuaded by him and others, that it should be the English national anthem full stop.

17 thoughts on “On Jerusalem”

  1. It’s about as patriotic as Born In The USA. Actually, its romantic whining about modernity is very Green Tory.

  2. The’ dark satanic mills’ are often explained,quite plausibly, as referring to the Church of England,so admirers of the child labour and the laissez-faire ,excrement- strewn cities of the Industrial Revolution described by Engels,can take it easy (Perhaps not).
    Not sure that bows of burning gold and arrows of desire can be explained away so easily though,being pretty obviously sexual images ( as in Eros, Anteros etc).Still if its a song celebrating sex and denying organised religion,it has a lot going for it.

  3. The problem with “Jerusalem” is that most of the lyrics mean so many different things to different listeners that they don’t mean anything.

    I’ve always favoured “Mah Nà Mah Nà” as our National Anthem.

    It would work especially well on occasions when the Queen was present, with the crowd doing the “Mah Nà Mah Nà” lines and HM doing the others.

  4. For once I agree with DBC here, the Graun gets it wrong as usual. the poem was written before the height of the industrial revolution and Blake was a Londoner, it’s doubtful if he had any knowledge of what was going on up north or cared much, this is a poem about spiritual renewal not social comment, he wasn’t really very interested in nature either.
    The whole business of national anthems is silly anyway, so frankly who cares ?

  5. Well, if the Left think it’s one of ‘theirs’ then what better way to wind them up than to have it firmly associated with St. George’s flag-waving football hooli .. err.. fans.

  6. Pete, refer to preceding 65 comments that state it ain’t actually Socialist. Not least because that particular brand of devilry was yet to be invented when good ole’ junky Bill Blake wrote the poem.

  7. Personally I like GSTQ its use being a timely reminder to the scots etc of who is top nation.

    Otherwise, I agree with your poster who prefers Land Of Hope & Glory.

    And on the subject of scotsmen and anthems, when are they going to replace their ridiculous dreary dirge with something rather more uplifting as well as downright beautiful like scotland the brave?

  8. The whole business of national anthems is silly anyway, so frankly who cares ?

    What else are you going to “sing” at the top of your lungs outside the uni pub with your Australian mate, after you’ve been unceremoniously thrown out for excessive consumption? Not that I’ve ever done *that*, of course. No, definitely not.

    But if I had, it would be because I was talked out of a rousing chorus of “The bouncer is a wanker” and couldn’t remember the lyrics to anything else but Advance Australia Fair.

  9. What Matthew said.

    How could we deprive such a hallowed institution as the Women’s Institute of their anthem?

  10. @FC
    The WI’s ownership of the copyright of “Jerusalem” lapsed in 1968; they were assigned it after the Women’s Suffrage organisation Parry had given it to earlier was dissolved .Still the memory of all those respectable rural housewives imploring the arrows of desire is hard to forget.

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