Beethoven rolls over

Roll Over Beethoven will surely return to the charts soon. The hit was written by Chuck Berry, covered by the Beatles, ELO and many others.  It reveals the desire for rhythm and blues to replace classical music. Allegedly, it started with Chuck’s frustration.  He was vying with his sister to get access to their family piano while she played classical pieces on it.  The song title is directed towards Ludwig van Beethoven to roll over in his grave. It demands his premier position to birth a new exciting genre of music.  Roll Over Beethoven is in the top 100 on at least one list of the great singles.

Beethoven just keeps rolling along 

The masterly composer need not worry; his treasure trove is played daily on every continent. Amazingly, Ludwig was profoundly deaf during his most celebrated phase of creativity from 1814 until his death.  At the end of the premiere of his majestic Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around by a friend to view the tumultuous response from the audience because he couldn’t hear it.  He continued composing some of the world’s most beautiful music.

Beethoven still brings pleasure to children

This clip reveals how Beethoven’s stunning skills still surprise and delight people on the streets of Sabadell, Catalonia, Spain.


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  • Watching the video clip reminded me of how music can both draw on our emotions and our memories. I have great memories of being at live performances of The Ninth, and always being blown away with the final resounding choruses and solos. This is such a wonderful piece of music that it is understandably the ‘EU Anthem’. I have listened to it over the past few years with that knowledge and have felt the ties that bind me with those who live in the EU. You write elsewhere about protest songs; I’m not sure I have the voice or the courage to stand up in the streets and sing Ode to Joy on my own as protest, but I certainly feel like it these days.

    • Thanks Ross, this a really thoughtful contribution. Beethoven’s 9th symphony is one of my favourites also. What power it has. I commend a concert performance on You Tube of Beethoven 9 by The Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti, which 14 million people have enjoyed. On protesting, I think we all need to do what we can do locally to help our global village change course.

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