> Brass Monkey > Songs > Jerusalem


[ Roud - ; Mudcat 3934 ; words William Blake, music trad. arr. Martin Carthy]

Brass Monkey played the tunes Gathering Peascods and The Rose Tree, and Martin Carthy sang Jerusalem, in 2002 on their fourth album Going and Staying, The album’s sleeve notes commented:

Gathering Peascods was originally published in the first edition of John Playford’s English Dancing Master in 1651. 260 years later, Cecil Sharp dug it out for part II of his Country Dance Book.

It was Bob Davenport, musing on many 18th/19th century poets’ habits of singing their poems as they wrote them, who took the idea one step further by making educated guesses as to what tunes might have been around for such a purpose. He saw, in the way Jerusalem was put together, that its internal rhythms were very close to the extremely widespread tune known to Morris musicians and dancers at Bampton as The Rose Tree and put the two together. Hey presto. A simple way with a simple song/poem, quite free of bombast and once more truly anathemic.

Bob Davenport sang Jerusalem in 2004 on his album The Common Stone; he was accompanied by Chumbawamba, Jim Boyes and Mike Waterson.

Alex Cumming sang Green and Pleasant Land on his 2020 download album Isolation Sessions: The Songs and on his 2024 album Homecoming. He noted:

I was asked by Revels North to create a brand new setting of William Blake’s poem And Do Those Feet in Ancient Time to perform at their annual Christmas Revels show. This song is better known as Jerusalem and has utterly beautiful imagery throughout. The melody I created is based off the Morris Dance tune, Blue Eyed Stranger which I learnt from Mary Neal’s Esperance Morris Book.



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.𝄇