25 June 2010

England's unofficial 'national anthem'

BBC News has reported that the hymn 'Jerusalem' music written by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916 to a William Blake poem is set to be the national anthem for the English team at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Previously, 'God Save the Queen' was played, as it currently is during the World Cup in Johannesburg. Excerpt

For the first time, Jerusalem will be played to celebrate English winners at this year's Commonwealth Games.

The anthem was chosen for medal ceremonies at the event in Delhi - ahead of the God Save The Queen and Land of Hope and Glory - after a public vote backed by Commonwealth Games England.

The words are very religious in nature:
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 my bow of burning gold
Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me my spears o'clouds unfold
Bring me my chariot of fire

I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land
'Til we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land

The unofficial anthem/song of Scotland is 'Flower of Scotland'

The official anthem of Wales is 'Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau' (Land of My Fathers)

Of course, officially the national anthem of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is 'God Save the Queen'

Explaining how England, Scotland and Wales are considered to be 'countries' despite being part of sovereign state United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) is another matter.

No comments: