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I've posted previously that my only church is the Church of Beethoven and it seems fitting on this morning to link you to perhaps the greatest and most inspiring music ever, a very small part of the Ninth Symphony.

But to update that, also note that the fine folksinger Billy Bragg (known, among other things, for his Woody Guthrie collaboration with Wilco) has revised the lyrics to Schiller's "Ode to Joy" and will be performing the whole Ninth, with a multicultural group of musicians, in Los Angeles this summer.  

Here are just a few excerpts from the new Bragg/Schiller lyrics.  

Enough my friends, no more woes now: Lift up your spirits!
Here now let us sing our song of joy and freedom.
The future is now in our hands.

Rise up!

Chorus: Rise up!
Baritone: Rise up!

See now like a phoenix rising
From the rubble 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
Lift your voices now in song!
Though by history divided
Reconciled in unison


Go! Go,
Go now and spread this message
To the ends of the earth, go children.
Spread this message
Of enemies reconciled!
Brother, put your hand in mine
Sister, put your hand in mine
That henceforth we all may live in peace and harmony
Brother put your hand in mine

All humanity as one!
All humanity as one!
where the stars circle above us.
All humanity! All as one!

Special bonus:  3 geniuses -- Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony transcribed for piano by Franz Liszt, performed by Glenn Gould.  Here
Greg Mitchell is editor of Editor & Publisher. His new book is "Why Obama Won."

Originally posted to GregMitch on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 07:45 AM PDT.

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