WILLIAM BLAKE AND HIS FAMOUS POEM JERUSALEM
(from various websites)
The lines "Did you ever hear about Jesus walkin', Jesus walkin' down by Avalon?" from "Summertime in England" refer to an ancient legend that Jesus once visited England. References to this legend include a poem by William Blake and the inspirational song "Jerusalem." Blake's text (from Milton) is as follows:
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.
The words were set to music much later, in 1916, by the English composer Hubert Parry, and later orchestrated by Sir Edward Elgar in 1922. "Jerusalem" was first performed at a Votes for Women concert in 1916. A short snippet of the melody of "Jerusalem" may also be heard at the very end of "A Town Called Paradise" on No Guru No Method No Teacher.
The following extract is taken from the William Blake home page:
William Blake (b. Nov. 28, 1757, London -- d. Aug. 12, 1827, London) was the first of the great English Romantic poets, as well as a painter, engraver and printer.
Blake is frequently referred to as a mystic, but this is not really acurate. He deliberately wrote in the style of the Hebrew prophets and envisioned his works as expressions of prophecy, following in the footsteps (or, more precisely strapping on the sandles) of Elijah and Milton.