Hubert Parry


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The rousing classic climbs 14 places this year

Although now far more widely known, William Blake's poem 'And Did Those Feet in Ancient Times' (he didn't call it 'Jerusalem') was originally included only in a short preface to a much longer one (called 'Milton, a Poem'). The text concerns the legend that Jesus might have travelled, with Joseph of Arimathea, to England in fact, to be precise, to Glastonbury. When it was included as a patriotic poem in a 1916 collection for a country at war, it immediately caught Parry's eye. Parry was more than happy, at the suggestion of the Poet Laureate, Robert Bridges, to set it to music, calling it simply 'Jerusalem'. And it's still there, rousing successive generations, usually in its 1922 re-orchestration by Elgar for the Leeds Festival.