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.

2 thoughts on “13. I Like Olives

  1. I really like Dan Bern and when he comes to town I’ll go see him and think of you. His latest LP -Breathe- was mentioned in a recent Paste Magazine. They gave it 3 stars.P.S. Maybe he really is the Messiah. Why Not?


  2. Cool Lisa – He is fun to see in concert. He’s gotten a little less talky in his shows – and maybe a little more mellow, but he used to have people either rolling on the floor laughing or pissed off at him. I’m going to see him at the Birchmere in May.I like Breathe – it is a grown-up Dan Bern. I like something from all of his albums, but probably like his Dan Bern album best.


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