School Hymn Lyric

SOME NOTES ON OUR SCHOOL HYMN

Our school hymn is based on the British Poet William Blake’s poem “And Did Those Feet In Ancient Times” written in 1804:

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.

It was during World War I (1914-1916) when the British morale was low due to great casualties that the British Poet Laureate, Robert  Bridges, asked Sir Hubert Parry, the British composer, to put the music to the poem, in order to boost British morale.  Parry wrote the song “Jerusalem” in 1916.

In 1922, the British composer, Sir Edward Elgar, wrote the orchestrated version of the hymn.  Since then, his version has become very popular and is performed every year at “Last Night of the Proms” in England.

Below are some of the Proms performances on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ0oCmDXrVk (2006)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCpzEtlM4ZM (2009)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=041nXAAn714 (2012)

The song also appears in the 1981 movie “Chariots of Fire”:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vxlX5wyEQs

The song is very popular and is used as school hymns in England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Hong Kong.

When Mrs Helen Wong founded BHJS in 1961, this song was adapted as our school hymn:

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Hong Kong’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
n Hong Kong’s crowded cities 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
On Hong Kong’s hills and city land.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/And_did_those_feet_in_ancient_time