My school sang Jerusalem at the end of every term in assembly, to the accompaniment of a large pipe organ played by one of the music teachers who really knew how to get the most of it. Needless to say, it sounded great.

My school also had a car park for the use the sixth formers (which I believe is now called year 12 and 13 - boys who would be 17 and 18 at the end of the school year). Until one year, when development work was taking place, and a new building was being put up. Where the current staff car park was.

Of course, this meant that the sixth formers lost their car park to the staff. And a number of sixth formers weren't very happy about this.

So someone (I don't know who - this was before I was actually in the sixth form myself) composed some alternate words to "Jerusalem" to be sung in assembly. Which they were, by about 300 of the 1100 boys there.

And did those feet in ancient times
Walk upon Elstree's mountains green
And was the holy GTI
On Elstree's pleasant pastures seen
And did John Carleton divine
Shine coach fees on our crowded bills
And was a car park builded here.... NO! (shouted)
Among those dark satanic mills

Bring me my keys of burning gold
Bring me my back seat of desire
Bring me my spear, oh, clouds unfold
Bring me my Ford Escort of fire
I shall not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my Ford sleep in my hand
'Till we have built a sixth form carpark
In Elstree's green and pleasant lands


  • Elstree - The location of the school (just outside London).
  • John Carleton - The school's Second Master (deputy Head). Top bloke.
  • Crowded bills - School bills. This was an independant school with high fees, soon to go even higher if people had to use school coaches as they couldn't drive to school.

Unfortunately, despite the large number of people singing the alternative verses, the only bit that stood out was the loud "NO". Never mind.

If you went to my school, /msg me!

June 2018 (nearly 14 years after writing this and over 25 years after the event) I have, through a completely random channel (or through Hashgacha Pratit if you prefer) been put in touch with the author of these words (who also happens to be married to a distant cousin of mine)!! He also just told me that the reason for the car park move wasn't the building work - the teachers used to park right by the school building, and there was nearly an accident with a teacher running over a kid, so they moved the teachers parking to the 6th form car park instead.