Slog through the convoluted history of the hymn Jerusalem, My Happy Home and one thing becomes apparent: no one knows for sure who wrote it. To add to the mystery, both text and tune can vary between sources which makes it even harder to trace.
But through its mutations and murky history, the theme of Jerusalem, My Happy Home remains the same: Hope. And right now, who couldn’t use a little more hope – especially the hope of a stable, peace-filled world?
For my arrangement of Jerusalem, My Happy Home, I chose one of its more common hymn tunes – Land of Rest – an American Appalachian folk tune that has roots in English and Scottish ballads. To reflect the tune’s humble origin, I used simple rhythms, harmonies, and structure. I also gave it a subtle brightness to highlight the text’s hopeful theme while still keeping it apropos for funerals or memorial services. Enjoy!
(P.S. In a number of hymnals, a brilliantly crafted hymn text by Brian Wren – I Come With Joy – is paired with this tune so this a great arrangement for communion as well!)