Saturday, 25 June 2011

Green and pleasant land . . .

Parry's inspiring hymn, Jerusalem, has become a second national anthem to many people.  It is an anthem for England, rather than for Britain.  The words "in England's green and pleasant land" evoke true feeling, even for those with no faith in Jesus or those who live in the cities.

Does this say something about rainy summers in England?  Some of my overseas colleagues despair at the rain but I try to remind them that England is only green in August if it has rained a bit in the preceding months.  Soft summer rain is part of English life, with tennis at Wimbledon and cricket at Lords interrupted by the weather.

Here is England's green and pleasant land, with a splash of red!

It was taken on the Yorkshire Wolds at the time of my father's funeral, 9 years ago, but the sight of fields of poppies brings back happy memories, not sad.

Don't worry - I am not hankering for my christian past just because I mentioned a hymn.  As with most great hymns I loved the music but found the words even more intractable than those used elsewhere in Sunday services.  If you clicked on the link to the Youtube video at the top of this post I would like to bet that you found yourself singing along  with it.


Steve Zara said...

It's one of the few hymns I liked, at least when it was not musically murdered by the regular organist who had a somewhat causal opinion of the need to play the right notes.

Plasma Engineer said...

Agreed. Maybe we should start a thread on about music murdered by organists. Widor's Toccata was one that used to disappoint me. The way our organist played it, I always used to say that it was like a competition between the organist and the music. The music won and we all lost.