Lyrics to 'Ode to Joy'

I never got anywhere when I tried to learn German, so that colors the rest of this post. I also realize that there’s a small handful of Dopers who profess to be Lutherans, so I will accept the possibility that I won’t get an answer to my question.

This past Sunday, our service ended with a hymn that had English language lyrics set to the opening portion of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. I really like to original, but never knew what was sung, because it all sounds like nonsense chorals to my untrained ear. This hymn (#551, Lutheran Book of Worship) had some pretty cool lyrics if you’re into religious music. Sorry, I can’t cite an excerpt.

What I’m trying to find out is if what we sang was an accurate (or even loose) translation from the German, or if this was another example of hijacking the instrumentals from one work to create another. Unfortunately, Lutheran church music is full of examples of hijacked music.

In any case, #551 went straight to the top of my favorites list…

This is a very literal translation:

Is it wrong that I made up words about my cat to that tune?

“Mommy loves her Mickey Mona, Mommy loves her Mickey girl!”

Thanks for the linky. The literal translation wasn’t even close to what we sang.

Caricci, AFAIAmConcerned, you can sing whatever you want to the cat. I don’t care that we sing hijacked hymns. I was more concerned with what the original form said.

Is this the set of words you used, vunderbob?

They were written in 1908 by Henry Van Dyke as a free translation of Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” (which was about 100 years old at that point) for use in Christian religious services. And the Beethoven music was the obvious setting for them.


Thanks, Polycarp

I feel the urge to watch A Clockwork Orange now.

hums a bar of Singin’ in the Rain

I kind of disagree with this line:

Mische seinen Jubel ein!
Mixes in his jubilation!

“Mische seinen Jubel ein!” is an imperative, so it should be “Mix in his jubilation!” Other than that it looks like a very close literal translation indeed.

I must say I like “Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium” much more than the text Polycarp linked to. Now “An die Freude” will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

But there are also some stunningly beautiful hymns written by Luther himself and arranged by none other than Johann Sebastian Bach. Stuff like “Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott” (Palm 46) which is usually sung for the feast of St. Martin, and “Vom Himmel Hoch da Komm ich Her” which is still one of the most popular Christmas songs in Germany.

Other beautiful Lutheran Bachiana, though not written by Luther, include Wachet Auf (melody by Hans Sachs, words by Philipp Nicolai) and Herzlich tut mich, verlangen (melody by Hans L. Hassler, words by Paul Gerhardt).

::: plays a few bars of Purcell’s “Queen Mary’s Funeral Music” for xgxlx :::

Y’mean it’s not Movies movies movies movies movies movies mooo-vieees?

Continuing the Bach hijack – I find it deliciously ironic that Ein Feste Burg is a favorite hymn in post-Vatican II Catholic services! :slight_smile:

Dang, racinchikki beat me to it. I only know the Starz! version. :smiley:

I’ll never forget the day I learned there were lyrics to “Ode to Joy”.

You’re kidding right? Pope Leo X must be spinning in his crypt. :smiley:

  1. My wife’s cell phone plays “Ode to Joy” when it rings. She didn’t set it up like that, but she doesn’t know how to change it.

  2. Despite the hijacked tune, “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” is one of my favorite hymns. And I’m not even Lutheran!

It’s also in the Episcopal Hymn Book.

You all suck. I am now having horrible Sister Act 2 flashbacks.

We sang it in German, in my highschool choir. I can’t get the lyrics out of my since then; I can’t just hum the tune in my head–it comes out in German.