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Thursday, October 12, 2017

This rock version of Beethoven's Ode to Joy will make your day

This is from 2011, but I'd never seen it before. 

Croatian cellist Ana Rucner performs the 'Ode To Joy' from the fourth (and final) movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (wiki). It was based on a poem by the same name by German poet, playwright, and historian Friedrich Schiller (wiki). An English translation of the adaptation used by Beethoven is below the video.

If you grew up as a Protestant, you'll probably recognize the music from the hymn "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" (also known as The Hymn To Joy) by Henry van Dyke. The lyrics were written by Van Dyke with the intention of setting them to this particular music. A performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London is at the bottom of this post.

Watch the whole thing as the tempo and joyful nature of the images increase. Watch full screen, and, if at home, with the volume turned up.

Ode to Joy English lyrics:

O friends, no more these sounds!
Let us sing more cheerful songs,
more full of joy!
Joy, bright spark of divinity,
Daughter of Elysium,
Fire-inspired we tread
Thy sanctuary.

Thy magic power re-unites
All that custom has divided,
All men become brothers
Under the sway of thy gentle wings.

Whoever has created 
An abiding friendship,
Or has won
A true and loving wife,
All who can call at least one soul theirs,
Join in our song of praise;
But any who cannot must creep tearfully
Away from our circle.

All creatures drink of joy
At nature's breast.
Just and unjust
Alike taste of her gift;
She gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine,
A tried friend to the end.

Even the worm can feel contentment,
And the cherub stands before God!
Gladly, like the heavenly bodies
Which He set on their courses
Through the splendor of the firmament;
Thus, brothers, you should run your race,
As a hero going to conquest.

You millions, I embrace you.
This kiss is for all the world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
There must dwell a loving Father.

Do you fall in worship, you millions?
World, do you know your creator?
Seek him in the heavens;
Above the stars must He dwell.

Hymn of Joy lyrics:

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living,
Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other,
Lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus,
Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us,
Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward,
Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sunward
In the triumph song of life.


  1. If you are European you of course recognise this as "hymn" of european union.

    1. How remarkably inappropriate for such a corrupt organization to co-opt such an amazing piece of work.

  2. Some joy and beauty on a typical dismal day. Thanks VA Viper