Monday, June 04, 2012

In Honor of the Queen

In the States we don't have a truly moving national song. Oh I know some are inspired by the Anthem, which unfortunately is unsingable by most of us. American the Beautiful is really God Save the Queen. No, I am just not moved by what we have here in the U.S. in terms of inspirational tunes. Not like Oh Canada, Rule Britannia or even The Internationale.

But the true leader, in my very humble opinion, is the UK's Jerusalem. Many of my generation first encountered these William Blake lyrics when Emerson, Lake and Palmer recorded a rock version of the hymn in 1973 on their album Brain Salad Surgery. True the lyrics have huge Christian overtones but I have no trouble overlooking the implied message that Jesus may have stopped in England on his way to America to found the Mormon Church.

Just turn up the volume, click here and enjoy.
(the ELP version can be found here for old stoners)

Jerusalem Hymn

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountain 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 spear O clouds, unfold
Bring me my chariot of fire

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

                       -Lyrics by William Blake

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