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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 September 2005, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Sing Jerusalem for England!
Michael Vaughan
Vaughan wants everyone to sing for five minutes
It's not quite the haka, but England are hoping a rousing rendition of the hymn Jerusalem will inspire them in the decisive Ashes Test.

England captain Michael Vaughan has asked the entire country to down tools at 1025 BST on Thursday and join in a spirited singing of the famous song.

He says it will inspire his players as they prepare to take on Australia in the fifth and final Test at The Oval.

"The backing of the country is like having a 12th player on the field," Vaughan said.

"And the thought of having the whole country singing a song as emotive as Jerusalem is something that will get the boys stirred up just as we come on to the field."

The idea was the brainchild of Ashes sponsor npower.

Kevin Peake, the company's head of customer marketing, said: "Jerusalem has been a fixture in the grounds prior to the games to excite the crowds.

"But we thought that uniting the country behind the team by a national singing of it would be a perfect start to this crucial match that is completely gripping the nation."

The campaign is calling for people from "offices to schools" to sing the hymn - which has accompanied the England team onto the pitch since 2003 - for five minutes on Thursday.

Cricket Australia has also appealed to Australian fans to get behind their team by sending messages of support to their favourite player or the team via its website.

"It has been an incredible series and the English team has enjoyed massive home-town support.

"We hope to leave Ricky Ponting and his team in no doubt as to the huge level of support they have from Australians back home," said chief executive James Sutherland.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

Words by William Blake (1757-1827), music by Hubert Parry (1848-1918)


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