One of the best kept-secrets of the royal wedding – barring the dress – is the wedding music. This much we know: the performers will include the Westminster Abbey Choir, the Chapel Royal Choir, the London Chamber Orchestra, and the Royal Airforce band. But the church has been mum on what the choirs will perform.
Music critics and directors are making their best guesses, and a choice they all seem to agree on is composer Hubert Parry’s “Jerusalem”, the best-loved Anglican hymn and a favorite of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
We may not be a big fan of wedding dresses at BlogPost, but we do like our poetry.
“Jerusalem” was adapted from a poem by English Romantic poet and painter, William Blake. Blake’s poe, “And did those feet in ancient time,” takes inspiration from a story about a second coming of Jesus, in which Jesus visits what is now England and establishes a new heaven.
In 2008, “Jerusalem” was banned from Southwark Cathedral, one of Britian’s foremost churches, for being too nationalistic and not praising God enough in its lyrics.
That’s done nothing to diminish the hymn’s popularity, however, and it’s been increasingly referred to as the English National Anthem. (No, “God Save the Queen” is not the national anthem, despite it representing the U.K. at most sporting events. It is a top contender, though, along with “Jerusalem” and Edward Elgar's “Land of Hope and Glory”.
Listen to the classical band Blake sing Jerusalem:
Full text of the poem below:
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 pleasant Land
P.S. Melissa thinks that while Blake’s poem sounds like a lovely addition to an over-covered wedding, she would have been more impressed if the couple would have gone for something a bit more unique. Say, “The Tyger.” Beause every wedding should celebrate the image of a jungle cat stalking you through a forest.