And Did Those Feet In Ancient Time by William Blake

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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Continuing education: The Lamb and The Tyger really need to be read together in the same sitting, The Clod and The Pebble shows how deeply Milton was internalized by Blake, and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell will leave you gasping.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    And it’s perfect for Monty Python.

    Report

  3. Avatar NewDealer says:

    In the summer of 2000, the Metropolitan Museum did a wonderful exhibit of Blake’s drawings and designs.

    “Dark Satanic Mills” probably refers to the Albion Flour Mills, one of the first Industrial factories in England and the world. Probably the harbringer of the Industrial revolution. Blake was a pastoralist utopian at heart and he would have distrusted the sheet nature of the mill and what it was able to do. Since the poem is allegedly about Jesus visiting England, he wonders how such a holy place could be so close to such an evil thing. How did England descend from pastoral and green glory to something dank, dark, industrial and soul-crushing. This is not a poem as an ode to progress or markets.

    If you did research, the Chariots of Fire refer to how Elijah entered heaven in the Old Testament. The narrator of the poem is being asked to be taken to Heaven or he is asking for a Chariot of Fire to help him destroy the Dark Satanic Mills of the Industrial Revolution.

    I interpret the poem as an ode and urging to return to a rural and simple life.Report

  4. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I always liked the Billy Bragg version

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  5. Avatar Glyph says:

    But did Blake have a vision that he’d inspire a couple orchestral psychedelic jazz albums in the 60’s, which would go on to be sampled like mad in 90’s hip-hop & electronic music?

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      • Avatar Glyph says:

        Heh, I thought Red Dragon too (Hannibal tonight! This season has been AMAZING!)

        And if he inspired those SF books, then indirectly we’ll just go ahead and credit him with this song too (that’s Ginger Baker on drums):

        Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        ITYM “Ginger Blaker”.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Oh, and Blake also shows up in Orson Scott Card’s Alvin Maker series, as a traveling storyteller nicknamed “Talespinner”. The first three or four books are quite good, though it appears to be yet another series Card has no intention of finishing.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      That’s how absolutely insanely talented Blake was. His work will turn you upside down. If you’re a theist, you’ll have insights into God. If you’re an atheist, you’ll flash some moments of doubt.

      I honestly have no idea why he isn’t more famous than he is. “He’s plenty famous”, I can hear someone say. “Not enough. Not to the point where he deserves.”Report

  6. Avatar bosco says:

    “Piper” is a song of “Bosco”. The lyrics are extracted from two William Blake’s poems (“Introduction” and “The Shepherd” from his book “Songs of Innocence and experience”). The audio is from one of the concerts they did in a tour around Ibiza. The video is made with footage from that tour.

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  7. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Also, there’s the Kinks’ 20th Century Man:

    This is the twentieth century,
    But too much aggravation
    It’s the age of insanity,
    What has become of the green pleasant fields of Jerusalem?
    Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird says:

    There’s a movement to make Jerusalem the National Anthem of England. Now, I mean, you can say that that is the equivalent of saying “there’s a movement to make ‘We Will Rock You’ the National Anthem of the USA” which is to say that just because the sentence is true doesn’t mean that it’s interesting but we’re not talking about a group of crazies out in the middle of nowhere.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9400486/David-Cameron-backs-Jerusalem-as-English-national-anthem.html

    There’s a group of crazies out in the middle of London.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      There was a vote for Australian national anthem in 1977, and Waltzing Matilda came in second with 28%. That would have been . ǝɯosǝʍɐ ǝɔɐdsReport