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First line:
And did those feet in ancient time
2012/13; organ accompaniment, after Elgar's orchestration
author of text
1804; Milton

In response to a request from his old friend Robert Bridges, Parry composed his setting of Blake’s opening lines from Milton (‘And did those feet in ancient time’—the original title of Jerusalem) for the Fight for Right movement, an organization founded by Sir Francis Younghusband as a means of encouraging the nation to remain steadfast in the face of German propaganda during World War One and to recognize the values that everyone, soldiers and civilians, was fighting for. It was composed on 10 March 1916 and Walford Davies, a former pupil, recalled that ‘we looked at [the manuscript] together in his room at the Royal College of Music, and I recall vividly his unwonted happiness over it … He ceased to speak, and put his finger on the note D in the second stanza where the words “O clouds unfold” break his rhythm. I do not think any word passed about it, yet he made it perfectly clear that this was the one note and one moment of the song which he treasured’. The choral song was published by Curwen in time for its first performance on 28 March, after which it became almost instantaneously popular. Although Parry was unhappy with the association of Jerusalem with propaganda—he withdrew from Fight for Right in 1917—he was delighted when the song was taken up by Millicent Garrett Fawcett and the National Union of Women’s Suffrage movement in 1917.

from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 2015


Parry: I was glad & other choral works
Studio Master: CDA68089Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Parry: Sacred choral music
CDA66273Archive Service
Rejoice, the Lord is king!
Studio Master: CDA68013Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The Hymns Album, Vol. 1
Studio Master: SIGCD079Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 11 on CDA66273 [2'59] Archive Service
Track 22 on CDA68013 [3'06]
Track 8 on CDA68089 [2'49]
Track 1 on SIGCD079 [2'32] Download only

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