It’s one of the earliest songs we get to work on in the Primer piano book. The one I play for my students and say, “You’ve probably heard this before.” And they nod their heads and are excited to learn it themselves. Ode to Joy, Beethoven’s beautiful and well-known melody, the final movement from his Ninth and last symphony. It’s beauty has endured for generations.
Henry J. van Dyke wrote words to Beethoven’s last movement in 1907. And so we may remember it as “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.”
It’s how I feel this Sunday morning. Joyful. Yes, joyful! And so, my God and Savior I adore You.
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day!
All Thy works with joy surround Thee,Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee.
. . . . . .
Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life.