Sunday, December 25, 2016

Pete Seeger's "Ode to Joy"

I went to a neighborhood sing on Monday night before Christmas. It was my first time attending the sing, which has been going on once a month for several years. Lots of fun, but I also learned something: Pete Seeger wrote a set of lyrics for Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."

Much of the song's content is moderately religious, but the first two stanzas are not, and I think express Seeger's idea of a better world, and mine as well:

Build the road of peace before us
Build it wide and deep and long
Speed the slow, remind the eager
Help the weak and guide the strong

None shall push aside another
None shall let another fall
Work beside me, sisters, brothers,
All for one and one for all.
 With a nod to Dumas there at the end.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa... and all of my wishes for a 2017 that begins to achieve Pete Seeger's dream.

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