Jerusalem was originally written as a poem by
William Blake in 1804, the lyrics were added to music written by Hubert Parry
in 1916 during the gloom of WWI when an uplifting new English
hymn was well received and needed.
In the early 1920's it was suggested to NFWI that the WI needs its own song. It was suggested by Vice Chairman Grace Haddow that Jerusalem could be used. Members were canvassed via Home & Country Magazine (now WI Life) and many wrote in favour.
Jerusalem was first sung at our 8th AGM in the Queens Hall, London by 2,300 delegates and visitors from all over the country.
(source: WI Life; p7; Aug 2013)
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountain 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 those 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.