So England’s cricketers “will take the pitch to a rousing rendering of Jerusalem”.
This will disappoint those who, in a poll carried out by a digital music channel asking 2,000 people in England what song they would choose to represent their country, chose A Candle in the Wind, All You Need is Love, Vindaloo (what?), Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Abide with Me and several other songs proclaiming England’s sporting prowess, or something.
Jerusalem got 51% of the vote. It’s odd that Blake’s poem should be thought to inspire patriotic fervour, beginning as it does with four questions to all of which the answer is a resounding no. Of course, it’s not to be taken literally, it’s just a metaphor, but surely a rather outdated one: all our dark satanic mills are now loft apartments with designer kitchens and real teak floors. But bits of England are still green and pleasant enough and the idea of building even a metaphorical Jerusalem here has some pretty unpleasant connotations.
But if you forget the ludicrous suggestions it’s a jolly good tune, and there aren’t many other choices. There’ll Always Be An England isn’t really saying very much: there’ll always be a North Pole, if it comes to that, unless we go and melt it.