Seasons Greetings to all our Members and let’s hope we can raise our voices again in 2021.
There’s not been much to sing about this year, but during more “normal” times we start our meetings off with a rousing rendition of “Jerusalem”. But why?
The poem written by William Blake was published in 1808 during another period of uncertainty – the Industrial Revolution when “England’s green & pleasant land” was being destroyed by massive urbanisation. Blake disapproved of this because it led to the creation of over-crowded slums which were the breeding grounds for endemic diseases.
The words were subsequently set to music by Hubert Parry in 1916 and it was adopted by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies to whom the copyright was assigned. When the NUWSS was wound up, the copyright was reassigned to the Women’s Institute.
The photo above shows the Fenstanton WI Choir who won the Huntingdonshire Federation of Women’s Institutes Music Festival in the 1930s.