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Dialogue of Cultures
Sing “Va Pensiero”
Anthem of the International
Va, pensiero sull'ali dorate
Del Giordano le rive saluta,
Arpa d'or dei fatidici vati,
O simile di Solima ai fati
English (Schiller Institute translation)
Go, thought, on golden wings
Greet the Jordan's banks
Harp of gold of the prophet bards,
O [harp], like Jerusalem to the fates,
In mid June, 2002, as the "American Tories" like Ashcroft, and the Utopian "Clash of Civilizations" faction escalated their push for perpetual war and global fascism, Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr, was honored in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the world's third largest city, with the title of "Citizen of Sao Paulo." At the ceremony, Helga Zepp LaRouche remarked that by this action, "you have contributed to sending a powerful message to the world, as to which America the world really wants."
In describing LaRouche's work to make the world conscious of the fight between the oligarchs, who are only interested in the privileges of a few, versus the true republicans, who are concerned about the well being of the people-- the fight which goes back almost 2,000 to 3,000 years, Mrs. LaRouche said, " Concerning the United States-- there are two Americas: one is the beautiful "beacon of hope and temple of liberty" of the Founding Fathers, of Lincoln, of Martin Luther King, the US tradtition that Mr. LaRouche stands for today. The other one is the tradition of the British empire, of the Confederacy, of slavery and of the idea of dominating the world through world empire."
It was on Independence Day, July 4, 1989, that Mr. LaRouche drew our attention to this chorus in a statement written from his jail cell. At that time, he wrote:
This is perfectly applicable for the world at this historic moment. Verdi's opera Nabucco was first performed in Italy in March 1842 (and in America in 1846,) and today is still best known for this chorus. At the time of its first performances, the Italian people immediately identified with the chorus, and sang it as the freedom song of the day. (Scroll down for LaRouche's comments.)
The opera is designed by Verdi as a lesson in statecraft, and in the emotional qualities necessary for leadership. Set in Biblical times, (Nabucco is King Nebuchadnezzar) the story deals with the conquest and enslavement of the Hebrews by Nabucco's Babylonian armies - the Hebrews in turn capturing Nabucco's daughterand in the course of the opera there are power struggles, intrigue, loyalties, betrayals, love, and coups, musically composed with a dramatic tension that was uniquely Verdi's. The "Va Pensiero" chorus is sung by the Hebrew slaves as they await their fate at the hands of the Babylonian tyrants.
In Italy, this song of the patriotic movement, like the African-American spiritual here, was the passionate expression of the commitment to the idea of freedom, reflected in the battle to create a nation-state. Ironically, patriotic Americans, here in the first true Constitutional Republic, find ourselves, as do the citizens of most nations, in a battle to save our own beautiful, but almost lost, country, today.
Join us in mobilizing the cognitive capability and the passions and of our fellow citizens, to regain the soul of the nation and to restore its moral purpose. Our strategy for victory includes using the most universal language in the battle for freedom-- music!
This PDF file includes the text in Italian and English, and the Vocal score only, as written by Verdi, (to be sung at C=256HZ.) You will need to get the piano and/or instrumental score elsewhere. This score is printable, and will enable you to learn, teach, and sing Verdi's "Va Pensiero." A Spanish translation will be online soon.
"... If you once come to know the way in which the Classical principle of composition is expressed in such an excellent and profound way by those Spirituals, you should recall that these originated as works of art composed by, and shared among successive generations of cruelly oppressed slaves who were each, at least partially, of African descent. The power of these compositions, which Dvorák, Burleigh, Hayes, and others, have honed to a state of relative perfection, expressed, among those slaves, the same genius inherent in all human beings. Those Spirituals, so honed, have a special power for all, on that account; they should inspire us to recognize, that there is no oppression so efficient, that it can obliterate the fact of the noble quality of humanity, as man and woman made in the image of the Creator, a quality innate to each newborn child.
"The underlying principles expressed by the most successful expressions of great Classical artistic composition, are those expressed in the most concentrated form in Plato's dialogues, and in those forms of modern Classical artistic composition which I have broadly identified above..."
Excerpted from "Politics As Art", by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. in Fidelio, Spring, 2001.
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