I was reading something about Christmas music today and I was struck by the idea that two of the most famous Christmas songs in Britain were written by bands from the West Midlands.
Those song are Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ and Wizzard’s ‘I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday’.
It made me wonder why the West Midlands is home to this cluster of Christmas musical talent.
Earlier in the day I had been listening to John Otway’s excellent version of Jerusalem, based on William Blake’s original lyrics.
It made me think about Blake’s idea that Jerusalem should be built in Britain and that he would never sleep until that had been done. He talks about dark satanic mills and that led me to think about the industrial heritage of the West Midlands.
What if Blake was right?
What if a new Jerusalem was built in England – and what if it was built in the West Midlands. Or what if that was his intention and it hasn’t yet been realised? Blake says “I will not sleep till we have built Jerusalem”. Everybody deserves rest.
Then I thought about the songs of Slade and Wizzard again and thought ‘hang on, maybe there’s a clue in the lyrics’.
Maybe what Slade and Wizzard have been doing for all these years is leaving a set of tantalizing clues blasting through the tannoys of supermarkets, to the location of Jerusalem – or a bit more information about the construction plans. The answer to Blake’s ancient puzzle has quite possibly been hiding in plain sight all along.
Maybe Jerusalem is near Wolverhampton or Dudley. Maybe it’s Solihull. This requires closer investigation.
To be continued….