England Expects

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Why every English patriot (and, yes that means you Scots and Welsh too) should at 10.25 on Thursday morning sing the words of this glorious hymn

ITS stirring words have inspired generations of proud Englishmen.

Now the country is being urged to join in a rousing chorus of Jerusalem before the crucial England versus Australia Test match starts at The Oval on Thursday.

Team captain Michael Vaughan is backing a campaign for the nation to break into the historic hymn at 10.25am.

Britons are being encouraged join in wherever they are - in pubs, offices, factories, schools or their sitting rooms - to help England in their attempt to win the Ashes.

For those who need reminding of the immortal words, printed right is a songsheet which can be used on Thursday morning.

'The backing of the country is like having a 12th player on the field and the thought of having the whole country singing a hymn as emotive as Jerusalem is something that will get the boys stirred up just as we come onto the field,' said Vaughan last night.

Cricket is enjoying a renaissance thanks to England's recent success on the field.

And for England supporters, Jerusalem fittingly reflects the emotion and glory of the Test series this summer.

William Blake wrote the poem in 1804. The words were set to music by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916.

The hymn is traditionally sung by England supporters at rugby internationals, along with Land of Hope and Glory, and is one of the highlights of The Last Night of the Proms.

The song has accompanied the England cricket team as they take to the field since 2003.

Kevin Peake, head of customer marketing for npower, which is sponsoring the Test series and has launched the campaign, said last night: 'Jerusalem has always been a fixture in the grounds prior to the game to excite the crowds. …