Jerusalem
Hubert Parry Lyrics


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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

Overall Meaning

Hubert Parry's song "Jerusalem" is a hymn invoking a vision of a holy England that should, in the eyes of the lyricist, be built. The song is a plea to the reader asking if it is possible that the holy lamb of God once walked upon England's mountains green or if the divine countenance ever shown on England's clouded hills. The lyricist then expounds the fact that Jerusalem should be built in England's green and pleasant land. The mention of Jerusalem is not so much about the city itself but about the idea of it being a holy land where God dwells. The repetition of the phrase "in England's green and pleasant land" at the end of each stanza emphasizes that the writer envisions England as a holy land.


The author, William Blake, wrote the poem that inspired the song in the late 18th century, which means the poem and the hymn were written during a time when England was experiencing great industrialization, urbanization and economic growth. It was also a time of social upheaval, with the working class experiencing great poverty and political disenfranchisement. Blake was a political radical and saw the city's newness and industrialism as a kind of decay where the soul suffered. Parry was a patriotic composer who believed that music could help to create a stronger national identity. He regularly set patriotic poetry to music, and "Jerusalem" is seen as one of his most successful works in this vein.


Line by Line Meaning

And did those feet in ancient time
Did the feet of Jesus Christ himself walk on the green mountains of England in the past?


Walk upon England's mountains green
Did Jesus Christ walk upon the verdant hills of England?


And was the holy lamb of God
Was the Son of God, who is also known as the Lamb of God, ever present upon the pleasant pastures of England?


On England's pleasant pastures seen
Has Jesus Christ been spotted on the delightful green pastures of England?


And did the countenance divine
Did the glorious face of God's divine being ever reveal itself?


Shine forth upon our clouded hills
Was there ever an instance that the face of God shone upon our concealed hills?


And was Jerusalem builded here
Did the grand city of Jerusalem get built in England?


Among those dark Satanic mills
Was the grand city of Jerusalem built amongst the eerie satanic mills?


Bring me my bow of burning gold
Grant me my bright, fiery weapon of gold.


Bring me my arrows of desire
Bring me the missiles of my longing.


Bring me my spears o'clouds unfold
Give me my weapons that unveil like clouds.


Bring me my chariot of fire
Bring me my powerful, blazing ride.


I will not cease from mental fight
I won't stop battling with my mind.


Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
And neither will my weapon rest in my grasp.


'Til we have built Jerusalem
Until the grand city of Jerusalem is constructed


In England's green and pleasant land
In the tranquil, vibrant countryside of England


'Til we have built Jerusalem
Until the grand city of Jerusalem is constructed


In England's green and pleasant land
In the tranquil, vibrant countryside of England




Contributed by Aiden V. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

@queenievenus

‘Jerusalem’
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 these 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 fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.



@DennisLiewDennis

Jerusalem by Sir Hubert Parry (1848-1918)🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿


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 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.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🇬🇧



All comments from YouTube:

@martinjmcc1981

I'm a proud Scot, but love this and sing along to it with passion. Thank you good neighbours.

@charlier7548

If you are English, this has to give you goose bumps. Invokes memories of when we were a proud nation.

@gutsfinky

I'm American and it gives me goosebumps. Nothing wrong with being proud of your country!

@kevinpih7653

I grew up in Hong Kong and this definitely gives me goosebumps!

@TPQ1980

Nothing like putting a near/middle eastern city and deity on a metaphorical pedestal to make an Englishman feel patriotic for his nation... What's more English than venerating an Afroasiatic prophet, worshipping a Canaanite storm God and singing about building a foreign city in England and placing our nation under a foreign culture...

@gutsfinky

@@TPQ1980 to be fair it's not just ANY middle eastern city. There aren't many cities in the Christian tradition that have as much significance as Jerusalem.

@BritaMagnusson

I am Swedish and it also gives me goosebumps! Beautiful!

3 More Replies...

@valerieeldridge6404

I remember as a nine year old singing this on the day of Queen Elizabeth's coronation. Still makes me emotional after living in the US for 50+ years.

@iaidagger8278

This IS ENGLAND AT ITS BEST!!!😊😊Greetings from Argentina from an old St John's School student😊😊😊❤❤

@crossdog3000

The Falklands are ours!

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