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Lyrics for the EU

From the Wall Street Journal, a cute story -- yes, I know, one doesn't often hear that adjective applied to a Journal story -- on the efforts to create lyrics to "Ode to Joy," the anthem of the European Union:

In January, German songwriter Karl Wolfgang Barthel watched French and German leaders stand silent as the anthem played at an anniversary of a French-German friendship treaty in Berlin. It just didn't seem right, so he wrote his own lyrics. His song (translated from German) begins:

People, gather close together
On this ancient continent
We're all Europeans now,
Strife can't keep us separate....

Mark Niedzwiedz, a songwriter for Universal Music, a unit of Vivendi Universal, in Britain, was also taken by the idea and wrote lyrics to the famous melody over a weekend. Titled "Stand Together," the song starts:

We who join hands stand together
Nations bound by land and sea
Build a bridge that will forever
Span across the centuries
There will be no more division
Only a vision in our hearts....

These Tides, a Brussels-based magazine run by British expatriates "working for the post-EU Europe," has already sponsored a tongue-in-cheek EU anthem contest of its own. The winning lyrics start:

Shades of Hitler, shades of Stalin
Yes sir, no sir, three bags full
If you want to gain your freedom
Give up all the euro-bull....

Perhaps someone should give Mel Brooks a call?

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