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 – Jerusalem (William Blake)
Whisper it around Scottish parts though but their anthem Jerusalem is a lot more rousing than our dirge Flower of Scotland.
The Corries’ call to arms was adopted by Scottish sporting teams some 40 years ago after pressure from the fans.
Which was around the time that Scotland’s rugby team last beat England at Twickenham… before last week.
Before that it was the British national anthem God Save the Queen for the Scots which Wales and Northern Ireland can all play.
And England still do.
The thing is that God Save the Queen is British, while Jerusalem is quintessentially English.
The song has an interesting history dating back to Victorian times and the great aesthete while randomly San Fransiscans love William Blake.
You know him too, the way-out-there poet and artist who also wrote about fiery lions, meek lambs and God’s plan.
And God’s plan of course was to restore England from the Industrial Revolution chasm it had descended into its previous rural idyll.
It’s unsurprising that this assertion of Englishness should have been taken up by The Last Night of the Proms.
But it equally conjures up images of St Andrews beach in Scotland too and Olympic hero Eric Liddell in the film Chariots of Fire.
Everything is cyclical of course.