Ode to Joy (Himno a la alegría)

Song by:
original by Friedrich von Schiller (lyrics) and Ludwig van Beethoven (music). Free version in Spanish by Amado Regueiro Rodríguez, aka Orbe (lyrics) y Waldo de los Ríos (music), popularised in Chile by Miguel Ríos.
Testimony by:
Luis Madariaga
Experience in:

In prison we would sing this when a comrade was released or sent to exile. It was a powerful source of strength, solidarity and ironclad brotherhood, created during those long months in captivity, seeking an outlet for our hearts. I believe that that experience left a mark on all of us.

During my time at Valparaíso Prison, I had the chance to see the singer Julio Iglesias come to the facility. He said something stupid: “I am a prisoner too; I practically live on an aeroplane.” The reaction of the political prisoners watching from the third gallery of that hellish prison was total silence. The word had spread asking that no one should applaud whatever Iglesias had to say. This led Iglesias to later ask the man who had brought him to this place who those guys were up on the Prison’s third gallery, who never once applauded him and kept quiet. This had been quite noticeable because there were many of us up there surrounding the gallery's handrails. It was our way of expressing our disapproval for this man who was on good terms with Chile’s criminal dictatorship. Then Iglesias left.


Published on: 05 August 2016


Listen brother
to the song of joy
the joyful song that awaits
a new day.

Come, sing, dream, singing,
live singing the new sun
under which men
will once again be brothers.

If in your path only sadness exists
and the bitter cry
of total solitude,
come, sing, dream, singing,
live dreaming the new sun
under which men
will once again be brothers.

If you don’t find joy
in this land
search for it brother
beyond the stars.

Come, sing, dream, singing,
live dreaming the new sun
under which men
Once again will be brothers.