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I seldom listen to music: generally it is imposed on me by others. But sometimes I browse some on YouTube, and I do have some childhood favorites from when I listened to records while home sick.


Ode to Joy

Now the anthem of the European Union.

I don't know why I love this one so much: it is metronomic, and I can't understand the original lyrics in German. Perhaps just as well: the lyrics are elliptical, allegorical, romantic, metaphorical, and not nearly sensible enough to satisfy me. But the triumphant harmonies, changes in pace and variability of the music meets some aesthetic of mine and leave me thrilled. And I'm not alone.  :-)

Lately I've noticed a large number of riffs on this music. Here are a few that I love.

Ode to Joy with lyrics in German and English
An original long version in German.
Ode To Joy | Muppet Music Video | The Muppets
I've always had a fondness for the Muppets.
Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) European Anthem - 'Beethoven's 9th Symphony'
He accidentally loses the lyrics and has to ad lib.
Beethoven Chased by Rossini ยท Garrison Keillor and Frederica Von Stade
Beethoven's Ode to Joy brilliantly layered on top of Rossini's William Tell Overture; the story of an old cat disturbed by a dog. From Songs of the Cat.
Pete Seeger: Ode to Joy
Banjo solo with new lyrics by Don West. Much better than the original lyrics.
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 and brothers,
all for one and one for all.
Flashmob Flash Mob - Ode an die Freude ( Ode to Joy ) Beethoven Symphony No.9 classical music
Unbelievably beautiful. Including the audience reaction.
Clockwork Orange (1971): Aversion Therapy
One of Kubrik's greatest films, shocking and hard to watch, yet essential to learning cynicism properly.

Mr. Sandman

The Original, by the Chordettes.
Amazing harmony.
Mr. Biden, Bring My Vaccine.
One of Randy Rainbow's finest works. Hysterically funny.
CRISPR-Cas9 ("Mr. Sandman" Parody), A Capella Science
One of the most amazing solo a capella performances ever, with spot-on science and significant variation of the repetitions in the original music to add drama.

La Marseillaise

La Marseillaise, sung by Mireille Mathieu. American English subtitles.
The French national anthem; very stirring and a bit bloodthirsty.


The closest I have to ancestral music: my father was Austrian. Though he was raised in Vienna and only spent summers in the countryside.

Franzl Lang - Happy Yodeling (25mins long mix)
Give it a try. Some of the most amazing yodeling ever.

Gilbert and Sullivan

'Nuff said.

I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General
From The Pirates of Penzance".
I'm the Monarch of the Sea
When I Was a Lad
From HMS Pinafore.
A More Humane Mikado Never in Japan Exist (My Object All Sublime.)
From The Mikado.
Nightmare Song
From Iolanthe.

Humorous Songs

Daffy's Rhapsody
Based on Hungarian Rhapsody.
National Lampoon - Deteriorata
A fitting mockery of the pompous and vapid Desiderata.
Dr. Demento Theme
Unbelievably cool.
Galaxy Song
From Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

Weird Al Yankovic

White & Nerdy.
My personal theme song. Also used as the name for a daylily: White And Nerdy.
Perform this way.
Word Crimes.

Flanders and Swann

Of course you could listen to The Complete Flanders & Swann. But some of my favorites are:

The Reluctant Cannibal
A great parody of parental arguments with vegetarian children.
In The Bath
A botanical song of ill-fated love.
The Wompom
Botanical whimsey at its best! Also used as the name of a daylily: Wompom Song
Hippopotamus Song
I used to sing my kids to sleep with this one.
Hippo Encore
The Gnu Song
Have Some Madeira M'Dear?
This song has not aged well, as it is about rape culture's protection of date rape. But the wordplay is extraordinary.

Tom Lehrer

You could also listen to the [ All of Tom Lehrer playlist, but these are my favorites:

The Elements
Wernher von Braun
So Long Mom
My favorite bit of cynicism when I was young.
Silent E
His contribution to Sesame Street!
The Hunting Song
The Wild West Is Where I Want To Be
Fight Fiercely Harvard

A Capella Science

The complete works here.

Bohemian Gravity

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Gravity
Bohemian Catsody

Randy Rainbow

His channel.

MR BIDEN (Bring My Vaccine)


Keep calm do fuck all.
The British response to pandemic lockdowns.
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