In a world that sometimes seems to have gone mad, it’s reminder of what human beings can accomplish when they are free to live, create, work together … and sing.
Here’s the English translation of Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy (written in 1785), which Beethoven adapted and used in the symphony, the composer’s “musical representation of universal brotherhood.”
Oh friends, not these tones!
Rather, let us raise our voices in more pleasing
And more joyful sounds!
Joy, beautiful spark of gods
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter drunk with fire,
Heavenly one, your sanctuary!
Your magic binds again
What custom strictly divided.
All men become brothers,
Where your gentle wing rests.
Whoever has had the great fortune
To be a friend’s friend,
Whoever has won a devoted wife,
Join in our jubilation!
Indeed, whoever can call even one soul,
His own on this earth!
And whoever was never able to, must creep
Tearfully away from this band!
Joy all creatures drink
At the breasts of nature;
All good, all bad
Follow her trail of roses.
Kisses she gave us, and wine,
A friend, proven in death;
Pleasure was to the worm given,
And the cherub stands before God.
Glad, as His suns fly
Through the Heaven’s glorious design,
Run, brothers, your race,
Joyful, as a hero to victory.
Be embraced, millions!
This kiss for the whole world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
Must a loving Father dwell.
Do you bow down, millions?
Do you sense the Creator, world?
Seek Him beyond the starry canopy!
Beyond the stars must He dwell.
Western governments have piled pressure on Russia to catch the killers of a renowned rights activist, as campaign groups accused Moscow of turning a blind eye to abuses.
The United Nations also joined calls today for a thorough, “transparent” investigation of the killing of Natalya Estemirova, whose bullet-riddled body was found in Ingushetia yesterday, only hours after her abduction in the neighbouring republic of Chechnya.
They found the body of my friend Natalya Estemirova on Wednesday. She had been abducted by unidentified men that morning in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, where she lived and worked as a human rights defender. She was seen being bundled into a sedan and was heard calling out, “I’m being kidnapped!” Calls to her cellphone went unanswered all day; she missed several important meetings, including one at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and she failed to pick up her daughter as scheduled at 2:30 p.m….