Christmas is around the corner. When I think of Christmas, I invariably think of Joy. Ode To Joy or Hymn To Joy – everyone of us must have heard this masterpiece at some point of our life – it originated as an ode written by German poet, playwright, philosopher and historian – Friederich Schiller in 1785, and was later given a musical setting by Ludwig van Beethoven in the final Movement of his 9th Symphony. It has been acclaimed by so many as the greatest piece of music ever written and many countries and unions have adopted it as their anthems as had the European Union in 1985, used in films like Clockwork Orange and The Beatles’ film, Help, and in a scene of triumph in Dead Poets Society which is one of my favourite films. And of course we hear it played during so many public functions.
Schiller’s meaning of the words in his ode is quite simple: JOY IS NEEDED FOR LIFE AND MOTIVATION – it is heavenly in origin and it is available to mankind through a loving god – that there is joy in hope in all nature’s good things.
We are often distracted from living the true meaning of joyous emotions – being busy and utterly immersed in a life pursuing worldly and material things. These distractions are of course sometimes necessary and unavoidable. But, to see so many gradually becoming robotic and blase in tastes and preferences … to hear so many cynically advocating god-sent emotions as a weakness … to find so many singing praises about music which can hardly be considered as being able to evoke any form of wrenching feelings, other than perhaps a splitting headache and dizzy spells, or even an urgent desperation to make a quick getaway … I can only feel sympathy and sadness that they are missing out so much – like the godly experiences of a true Joy – the Joy of Beauty … the Joy of seeing a heaven in our hearts.
Music is what Feelings sound like
– unknown –
Joy, to me, can be manifested in various ways. Listening to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy often makes me shed a tear or two, not just by the sheer beauty of the music or by the genius of its composer, but also by the strains of emotions running through my veins brought about by the emotiveness which has captured all my senses. I may be in tears .. my lungs may give way to breathlessness .. my heart may be tormented by such emotions .. but the Joy derived from those tears and pain gifts me an exalted experience I would not ever trade for the biggest bank account in the world.
David sometimes does that to me too with his emotiveness. Many people have wondered why he shuts his eyes while immersed in a song, and some even rejects it as a no-no (including Andrew Lloyd Webber .. remember?). I totally disagree. With eyes closed to the many distractions of the world – a Moment lost in time – David is revelling in an emotion of true aestheticism which magnifies and adds dimensions to his emotiveness, which is then manifested as profound emotions from him to us .. then reflected from us back to him. Take that abstractedness away .. the moment of ecstasy is diminished.
The joy of emotion we feel brings about admiration and idolisation
The tears follow because our souls cannot contain or restrain
the bliss of those emotions
I have read in tumblr comments by some Archies, which I find deeply touching. They may sound a little morose but, if you read between the lines, you will realise that these Archies have actually found, or at least, coming to, a place of happycrying with emotions which are akin to awakenings which are deep and human, and the bliss of Joy awaits them.
– Whenever I have a problem, I escape to the Archu-world to forget it, even if it’s for a few hours, to distract me from life.
– The fact that the reason for David’s not being that famous because he is so wholesome, bothers me. Society is ruined.
– I feel like David is so misunderstood. I feel like no matter what he does, people will never be happy with his decisions.
– Truthfully, David is my only hope for my generation. If more people of my generation were more like him, I would feel more confident about the future.
It’s good to see that our friends in the busy city of Hong Kong have taken to Beethoven’s Ode To Joy. 🙂
Perhaps we should listen to a fully orchestrated version too. 🙂