New Jerusalem (website only)

And did God’s feet in ancient time
walk upon this earth’s golden sands?
And was the holy Word of God
nurtured in Mary’s gentle hands?
And did the Lord of Heaven divine
give up his throne to pass this way?
And did Jerusalem’s garden tomb
bear forth new resurrection day?

Lord, break your bread, and share your life!
Pour out the blood of cleansing love!
Break through the walls of sin and strife!
Unleash the floodgates from above!
And then return, in light supreme -
the shining glory of your grace;
Come, build a New Jerusalem,
and heal this broken, worn-out place.

Words: © Andrew T. Murphy 2011

Metre: 88.88.88.(9)8

Tune: “Jerusalem” by Hubert Parry Download organ version
Other versions available at musicnotes.com (fee applicable)

William Blake’s original version:

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.

Categories: Advent, Easter, Eucharistic, Holy Communion, Hymns only online (submit to stfplus@methodistchurch.org.uk), Jesus Risen and Ascended, Justice and Peace, Murphy, Andrew T.

6 Responses to New Jerusalem (website only)

  1. Tom Ferguson says:

    Although the tune is undoubtedly a well-known, rousing hymn, the words are rather strange and symbolic of Victorian imperialistic arrogance. The first verse is a list of questions to which the answer is, ‘no’ and the second verse seems to be an invitation to take up arms in order to move the centre of Christendom from Jerusalem to England.

    Even if you’re not keen on Andrew Murphy’s version, at least the answers to his questions are, ‘yes’ and will allow many to sing the words to a fine tune with conviction.

    • Bernard Melling says:

      I am in complete agreement with Tom Ferguson and would welcome the wider publication of Andrew T. Murphy’s “New Jerusalem”. l’d like to see the W.I. adopt it in place of Blake’s version.

  2. Mike Redshaw says:

    I actually like both versions. I agree with Michaels assertion that it would make a far better National Anthem than we currently have.
    However I do think that Andrews version is quite challenging to me and to my life.

  3. Michael Dyer says:

    Murphy’s attempted pastiche is less a replacement for Blake’s Jerusalem than a new hymn altogether. As to Blake’s effort being “rubbish”, for which David offers no evidence, I guess it’s a matter of taste, but it’s sentiments are more meritorious as a national anthem than “God Save the Queen” – in my opinion, of course!

  4. David Le Poidevin says:

    Far better than the rubbish of William Blake. Will make a good replacement

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