The Scots have Flower of Scotland and the Welsh have Land of our Fathers.

Now a West Midland MP is calling for England to have an official national anthem of its own.

Dan Kawczynski (Con, Shrewsbury and Atcham) believes Jerusalem, the stirring tune with words by the visionary poet William Blake, should become the nation’s official song.

It would mean the England football team was no longer introduced with a rendition of God Save the Queen in international games.

Instead, crowds would hear an homage to England’s green and pleasant land, and the existing national anthem would be used only for events which involved the entire United Kingdom.

The suggestion, made in a House of Commons motion, is the latest expression of a growing desire for a specific English identity, following the establishment of assemblies in Scotland and Wales.

Mr Kawczynski is not alone in backing Jerusalem as an English national anthem.

The Tory MP is joined by left-wing singer Billy Bragg, who argues that English identity has been submerged for too long.

Mr Kawczynski said: "Our partners in the UK have their own anthems. They are proud of their anthems, whereas we don’t have one. I think we should also have our own identity and our own anthem.

"Jerusalem is something everyone can get behind. I particularly like the fact that there is a specific mention of England.

"It is a very patriotic song, which I think we in England can have strong feelings for."

Blake’s poem was first set to music by C Hubert H Parry, in 1916.

Parry was commissioned by the Government to create a patriotic song, with the specific intention of raising morale during the First World War.



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 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.

>> Post comment