Patriotic song Jerusalem intended to be less rousing
The patriotic anthem Jerusalem was originally intended to have a less rousing opening, according to a musicologist from Durham University.
Its first verse was written for a single voice and not the grand choral opening for which it is now famous, claims Professor Jeremy Dibble.
The song was written by Sir Charles Hubert Parry in 1916.
It is popular with rugby union fans and has been played at the England cricket team's home test matches since 2004.
According to Professor Dibble, Parry's original score said "all available voices" should sing the song - but only from its second verse.
"Parry wrote the first verse of Jerusalem for a lone voice, probably a soprano," he said.
The second verse was meant to have "everyone singing together," he continued, "to reflect his desire to create a song of strength, hope and unity".
Jerusalem is one of the unofficial supporters' songs of the England rugby union team.
It was also one of the three hymns sung during the Prince William and Catherine Middleton's 2011 wedding.
"People clearly enjoyed singing it together in church, at meetings and at the Last Night Of The Proms," said Professor Dibble.
As a result, he went on, "we've forgotten Parry's original intention of a solo beginning".
The song is based on a short poem by William Blake from the preface to his epic Milton a Poem, one of a collection of writings known as the Prophetic Books.
In the most common interpretation of the poem, Blake implies that a visit of Jesus would briefly create heaven in England, in contrast to the "dark Satanic Mills" of the Industrial Revolution.
During the 1920s, many Women's Institutes started closing their meetings by singing Jerusalem. As this practice caught on nationally, it became the unofficial anthem of the WI.
Professor Dibble made the discovery about the song while researching Parry's works ahead of a BBC recording to be released in October.