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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Billy and Pete (and Ludwig)

One of the highlights of our new film Following the Ninth is Billy Bragg singing (and talking about) his new version of the "Ode to Joy" with new updated "political" lyrics.  But I should note that Paul Robeson sang his own version many decades ago--and here's the great Pete Seeger's version, with new lyrics and banjo.   Below you can hear Billy sing the whole thing, and here are the lyrics.  Also, a full chapter on Billy in our book, "Journeys With Beethoven."
See now like a phoenix rising
From the ashes of the war
Hope of ages manifested
Peace and freedom evermore!
Brothers, sisters stand together
Raise your voices now as one -
Though by history divided
Reconciled in unison

Throw off now the chains of ancient
Bitterness and enmity
Hand in hand let's walk together
On the path of liberty
Hark, a new dawn now is breaking
Raise your voices now as one!
Though by history divided
Reconciled in unison

What's to be, then, oh my brothers,
Sisters, what is in your heart?
Tell me now the hopes you harbor
What's the task and where to start
Though we speak in a million voices
Every word is understood
Furnish every heart with joy
And banish all hatred for good

Furnish every heart with joy
and banish all hatred for good.

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