Daily Archives: March 8, 2007

13. I Like Olives

There are a few songs called Jerusalem. The first song I’d heard with that title was the one they sing in England – the hymn – which Wikipedia tells me was originally a William Blake poem. I probably initially heard it on Masterpiece Theatre, but was amused to discover, on my first visit there, that they actually do sing it in England.

The second song I heard called Jerusalem was by Dan Bern. It is not a hymn. Probably the opposite. If Dan has a signature song, Jerusalem is it. It is also another song of his that gave me belly laughs the first few times I heard it – and it is always received well at his shows. People used to bring him jars of olives when he toured after releasing this song on his first two albums.

Sometimes Steve Earle is compared to Dan Bern (or visa versa) and I think I knew before today that Earle had a Jerusalem too, but didn’t realize how much his voice was like Dan’s until just now. Here it is on YouTube too. Hmm, I like this.

It would be interesting to be able to hear all the different songs called Jerusalem by the various artists, but I’m getting a little Internet search weary this afternoon.