I Believed You William Blake

Album: No Man's Land (2019)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • The artist, poet and engraver William Blake married Catherine Boucher on August 18, 1782 in St. Mary's Church, Battersea, London. Catherine took an active role in the production of her husband's engravings and illuminated books; she made the printing impressions, hand colored the pictures and bound the books. Their marriage remained a close and devoted one until his death.

    Though William Blake's vast output of visionary art and poetry is revered now, they did not sell well in his day. In fact, in Blake's era they were regarded as convincing evidence of insanity.

    Frank Turner recorded "I Believed You William Blake" for No Man's Land, his 2019 concept album about various women from history. During this folk-rocker, he pays tribute to the loyal support Catherine gave to her husband throughout their marriage.

    I held him when he faltered
    When earth and faith did shake
    And on my grave the words will say
    "I believed you, William Blake"


    Catherine believed in her husband's genius when the rest of society thought him mad.
  • Turner explained to The Sun why he wanted to pay tribute to Catherine Blake: "Catherine kept him together, in many instances kept him clothed in public. When he died (in 1827), no one cared and his work was in a complete mess. Catherine catalogued and arranged it. If she hadn't, we would know very little about William Blake."
  • Blake was a nonconformist mystic with controversial religious views. He believed that Christianity was established at Glastonbury, in southwestern England, by Christ's follower Joseph of Arimethea. His poem "Jerusalem" was inspired by the old legend that Jesus, while still a young man, accompanied Joseph of Arimathea to Glastonbury. Catherine was one of the few people who supported his theology.

    With poetry and engravings
    He presented Paradise
    He revealed to them a Jerusalem
    They would not recognize


    Turner said: "I have this image of her standing by his graveside and saying, 'I hope you're right, because, if you're not, I have wasted my life.'"

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)

Dexys (Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson)Songwriter Interviews

"Come On Eileen" was a colossal '80s hit, but the band - far more appreciated in their native UK than stateside - released just three albums before their split. Now, Dexys is back.

The Fratellis

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.

Arrested For Your Art - The Story Of 2 Live Crew's "Obscene" Album

Arrested For Your Art - The Story Of 2 Live Crew's "Obscene" AlbumSong Writing

In the summer of 1990, you could get arrested for selling a 2 Live Crew album or performing their songs in Southern Florida. And that's exactly what happened.

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

George Clinton

George ClintonSongwriter Interviews

When you free your mind, your ass may follow, but you have to make sure someone else doesn't program it while it's wide open.

Howard Jones

Howard JonesSongwriter Interviews

Howard explains his positive songwriting method and how uplifting songs can carry a deeper message.