by Fat Les 2000

Writers - Blake/Perry (traditional)
First released - 2000
Original album - (none)
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - single (UK #43)

Chris Lowe gave a hi-NRG/techno treatment to the "Pet Shop Boys Mix" of this one-off novelty collaboration by actor/comedian Keith Allen, artist Damien Hirst, and Blur bassist Alex James. It proved a surprise U.K. hit in 2000. The song itself—a somewhat mystic, nationalistic hymn composed in 1916 by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry using lyrics written in 1808 by the poet William Blake—holds a remarkable place in British culture both as a traditional church anthem and as a football/soccer singalong. It draws upon the extremely curious (not to mention highly unlikely) legend that Jesus, during his so-called "lost years" between the ages of 12 and 30, visited the ancient British Isles, thereby suggesting a theoretical "heaven on earth" in England.

According to Wikipedia, this recording of "Jerusalem"—specifically created for Britain's football team at the 2000 Union of European Football Associations European Football Championship (aka Euro 2000)—was "partly a reaction to the appropriation of the hymn by far right political groups. Keith Allen chose the London Community Gospel Choir and London Gay Men's Chorus to feature on the track."

Although Neil gave his blessing to Chris's remix and agreed to the use of the "PSB brand," he was otherwise uninvolved.

List cross-references