Ode to Joy (denied)

Another European hymn, with post-mortem apologies to Schiller and Beethoven

Banks with trillions
Bring death in millions
Soldiers of Elysium1
Flying, marching
Driving, bombing
Innocents to kingdom come
Seizing children
Maiming mothers
Razing villages to the ground
Everywhere where wealth’s extracted
Leveling homes, entire towns.
Scream their heralds
Pray their clerics2
Sing their cynics on TV
Sirens luring youth to madness
With music fake or HIV.
Till exhausted
Still unemployed
Deceived by Europe
Distracted by toys
Homes are burning
Staunched their yearning
Peace long promised3
Still denied
While they wait
In steady gait
In Brussels like in Stanleyville4
Dreams of ease and human rights
Are made to perish
in unending nights.

  1. “Daughters of Elysium” from Schiller’s “Ode to Joy”. In the version composed by Beethoven (9th Symphony), adopted as the semi- official anthem of the European Union. []
  2. Throughout the artificial anti-Muslim hysteria in Europe it is still forgotten or obscured that the Roman Catholic Church and its Protestant partners own a third of the land in Europe and constitute a largely invisible economic and ideological partner to the secular multinational corporations who exploit the world’s workers and poor. []
  3. The so-called “peace dividend” promised after the end of the so-called “Cold War”. In fact, anyone who had read George Kennan’s infamous “X” memorandum would know that the Cold War was a war to protect the power of the Anglo-American elite’s control of the world’s resources. Hence the “peace dividend” was a fraud too. []
  4. Stanleyville was the name of a town in the Belgian Congo, the principal source of Belgium’s disproportionate wealth and influence in Europe and certainly one reason Brussels could buy its central role in the corporate dominated “civil” division of the NATO empire. []
Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..