Billy Bragg to debut his choral version of ‘Ode To Joy’ in LA

The singer considers making a choral album

Billy Bragg is set to debut his version of ‘Ode To Joy’ in North America this weekend.

The British folk singer, who has written new lyrics for the chorale finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, will be accompanied by the Asia America Youth Orchestra on Saturday (August 29) at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Bragg will lead the audience in a sing-along of the chorale.

This will be the third time Bragg‘s version of the popular song has ever been performed, the first being at the reopening of the Royal Festival Hall in London in June 2007.


Although Bragg said he is looking forward to premiering the song in America, he added that he doesn’t intend to include it in his regular setlists. “I wouldn’t just throw it in between ‘New England’ and ‘Milkman Of Human Kindness,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “But if it becomes widely known and popular, I’m sure I’ll be able to fit it in in some context.

“Maybe I should make a choral album: ‘Songs For Singing Choirs With Billy Bragg’,” he added.

–By our Los Angeles staff.