I think Dara O’Briain is one of the funniest comics doing the rounds of tv and theatres at the moment. In today’s Guardian Online he tells us The truth about the English. And as you read the article, you can very easily picture him on stage weaving these strands into an amusing routine.

The article, which is very good, has a couple of points worth highlighting.

The English, despite all that football’s coming home crap, did not invent the game. They did apply a set of rules to it but that’s not the same thing now, is it? As with so many other things, the Chinese got there first with a game called cuju!

He remarks on the English fondness for the hymn Jerusalem (something I’ve often wondered about too) and answers the questions the hymn poses thus:

And did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England’s mountains green? No.

And was the holy Lamb of God On England’s pleasant pastures seen?Nope.

And did the Countenance Divine Shine forth upon our clouded hills? Still a big nooo, I’m afraid.

And was Jerusalem builded here Among those dark Satanic mills? No. It wasn’t. Sorry about that. (And it’s “built”, by the way.)

So there!



One thought on “Jerusalem?

  1. Hi Alex,
    I thought that was good too. Jerusalem is a deeply odd ‘hymn’ (there’s really nothing Christian about it), and, as someone else has said (and as Dara picks up on), the answer to verse 1 is ‘no’ and to verse 2 is ‘fetch them yourself’.

    I also heard Eddie Izzard, a long time ago, making the same point re Londoners and terrorism, though that was in the era of IRA bombs – along the lines of ‘A bomb alert in John Lewis? Tut, I’d better go along to Selfridges instead.’

    And his response to the moaning about public transport is the same as mine. Up town on the seven bus, home on the half ten bus, that was my lot; many’s the start and end of things I missed. The public transport system here is great.

    And of course the RSPCA was founded sixty years before the NSPCC (no Royal there).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s