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‘Jerusalem’ UK’s favourite hymn, according to ‘Songs of Praise’ poll

Jerusalem is the UK’s favourite hymn, according to a poll by the BBC’s Songs of Praise.

Results of the poll, in which members of the public could choose from the 100 hymns that have featured most on the show over the past five years, were revealed on the show on Sunday. Second place went to How Great Thou Art and third to In Christ Alone while others in the top 10 included Abide With Me, Amazing Grace and Be Still For The Presence Of The Lord.

The show’s host, singer Aled Jones, counted down the country’s 10 favourite hymns from De Montford Hall in Leicester. He was joined by guests including Britain’s Got Talent winner Colin Thackery, actress Sope Aluko and classical singer Russell Watson.

Jerusalem, which pairs an 1803 poem by William Blake with music written by Sir Hubert Parry, was not in the top 10 the last time the BBC conducted the poll in 2013. Parry wrote the music in 1916, at the height of World War I, after he was commissioned by poet laureate Robert Bridges, to create a piece to rally people behind the war effort. It was first performed in Queen’s Hall, London.

The second place getter, How Great Thou Art, is based on a traditional Swedish melody and poem written by Carl Boberg in 1885 and, after being translated into English, was popularised by George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows during the Billy Graham crusades.

The more modern In Christ Alone, which took third place, was co-written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend in 2001.

Getty said after the win he was honoured it had been included in the list.

“The true story of In Christ Alone is that I found an unpaid electricity bill in my office and on the back of it I had written a melody, and played it, and recorded it and then sent it to Stuart Townend – a couple of months later we had In Christ Alone and the rest is history.”

Tens of thousands of people voted in the poll, according to the BBC.



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