Category Archives: Music & Musicians

O Holy Night (Complete Lyrics)

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
Fall on your knees,
Oh, hear the angels voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night,
O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand;
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend;
He knows our need,
To our weakness is no stranger.
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace;
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother,
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name;
Christ is the Lord,
Oh, praise His name forever!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory evermore proclaim!


Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark! the herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled”
Joyful, all ye nations rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With the angelic host proclaim:
“Christ is born in Bethlehem”
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored
Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” is a Christmas carol that first appeared in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems. Its lyrics had been written by Charles Wesley. Wesley had requested and received slow and solemn music for his lyrics, not the joyful tune expected today. Moreover, Wesley’s original opening couplet is “Hark! how all the welkin rings / Glory to the King of Kings”.

The popular version is the result of alterations by various hands, notably by Wesley’s co-worker George Whitefield who changed the opening couplet to the familiar one, and by Felix Mendelssohn, whose melody was used for the lyrics. In 1840—a hundred years after the publication of Hymns and Sacred Poems—Mendelssohn composed a cantata to commemorate Johann Gutenberg‘s invention of the printing press, and it is music from this cantata, adapted by the English musician William H. Cummings to fit the lyrics of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, that propels the carol known today.


From Wikipedia: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

36 Months

cross of life

The fame of some is counted across decades, while the careers of others are measured over ten, twenty, thirty, forty years… or more.

The influence of still others is measured in poetry or plays, Academy Awards, sports, famous battles, famous inventions, or great contributions to peace, or the sciences, or to human advancement.

But there is One Man, known throughout the entire world, who’s name has been spoken in every tongue, who has won more ground and minds than all the armies of all the nations across all the ages of the world.

And you can comfortably measure His ministry in months.

36 months.

That’s it. 36 months.

That is only 1,095 days and the world has never been the same.

I am old enough now to realize people either adore Him or completely avoid Him. In my opinion the latter is the least sincere response to the Son of Man.

Fear is the natural response of the natural mind. The Man of whom we speak is both Us and Other… and that Other can be pretty intimidating, even frightening.

There comes a time one matures beyond hiding in the dusty but comfortable corners of one’s own mind: when we are finally able to think outside ourselves — beyond our senses, our pain, our fright, our personal catalog of betrayals and self-assurances.

Someone is knocking at the door of our heart. The mind can feel this gentle rapping, yes, this strange invitation, but it cannot comprehend it. It is both familiar and alien, simultaneously Us and Other.

So open the door…

And marvel at the Other Side of Life.

Christmas 2017

Gold Star

Today we celebrate the greatest life ever lived, laid down, and picked up again.

It is entirely appropriate that we do this.

Today should not be a peculiar mood. All the great and meaningful things this season reminds us to observe, we should observe every day. Yes, that’s difficult, but it is the highest mountain that has the best view.

Many of you respect, adore, and cherish the memory of great men and women — defenders, artists, writers, presidents, scholars, saints, explorers, scientists, kings — who themselves respected, adored, and cherished the Man for whom Christmas was named.

I submit if you want to know what made those heroes truly great, you must look past them, back through the centuries, to Bethlehem.

There, like today, you will find skepticism and wonder.

I invite you to consider the latter.

Dust to Dust

It’s not your eyes
It’s not what you say
It’s not your laughter
That gives you away
You’re just lonely
You’ve been lonely too longAll your acting, your thin disguise
All your perfectly delivered lines
They don’t fool me
You’ve been lonely too long

Let me in the walls
You’ve built around
We can light a match
And burn them down
Let me hold your hand
And dance ’round and ’round the flames
In front of us
Dust to dust

You’ve held your head up
You’ve fought the fight
You bear the scars
You’ve done your time
Listen to me
You’ve been lonely too long

Let me in the walls
You’ve built around
We can light a match
And burn them down
Let me hold your hand
And dance ’round and ’round the flames
In front of us
Dust to dust

You’re like a mirror, reflecting me
Takes one to know one, so take it from me
You’ve been lonely
You’ve been lonely too long
We’ve been lonely
We’ve been lonely too long

The Civil Wars

The Subatomic Discovery That Physicists Considered Keeping Secret

A pair of physicists announced the discovery of a subatomic event so powerful that the researchers wondered if it was too dangerous to make public.

The explosive event? The duo showed that two tiny particles known as bottom quarks could theoretically fuse together in a powerful flash. The result: a larger subatomic particle, a second, spare particle known as a nucleon, and a whole mess of energy spilling out into the universe. This “quarksplosion” would be an even more powerful subatomic analog of the individual nuclear fusion reactions that take place in the cores of hydrogen bombs.

Quarks are tiny particles that are usually found clinging together to make up the neutrons and protons inside atoms. They come in six versions or “flavors”: up, down, top, bottom, strange and charm.

Energetic events at the subatomic level are measured in megaelectronvolts (MeV), and when two bottom quarks fuse, the physicists found, they produce a whopping 138 MeV. That’s about eight times more powerful than one of the individual nuclear fusion events that takes place in hydrogen bombs (a full-scale bomb blast consists of billions of these events). H-bombs fuse together tiny hydrogen nuclei known as deuterons and tritons to create helium nuclei, along with the most powerful explosions in the human arsenal. But each of those individual reactions inside the bombs releases only about 18 MeV, according to the Nuclear Weapon Archive, a website devoted to collecting research and data about nuclear weapons. That’s far less than the fusing bottom quarks’ 138 MeV. [Beyond Higgs: 5 Elusive Particles That May Lurk in the Universe]

“I must admit that when I first realized that such a reaction was possible, I was scared,” co-researcher Marek Karliner of Tel Aviv University in Israel told Live Science. “But, luckily, it is a one-trick pony.”

As powerful as fusion reactions are, a single instance of fusion on its own isn’t at all dangerous. Hydrogen bombs derive their enormous power from chain reactions — the cascading fusion of lots and lots of nuclei all at once.

Karliner and Jonathan Rosner, of the University of Chicago, determined that such a chain reaction wouldn’t be possible with bottom quarks, and, before publishing, privately shared their insight with colleagues, who agreed.

“If I thought for a microsecond that this had any military applications, I would not have published it,” Karliner said.

To spark a chain reaction, nuclear bomb makers need large stockpiles of particles. And an important property of bottom quarks makes them impossible to stockpile: They wink out of existence just 1 picosecond after they’re created, or in about the time it takes light to travel half the length of a single grain of salt. After that time span, they decay into a far more common and less energetic kind of subatomic particle, known as the up quark.

It might be possible to generate single fusion reactions of bottom quarks inside miles-long particle accelerators, the scientists said. But even inside an accelerator, one couldn’t assemble a large enough mass of quarks to do any damage out in the world, the researchers said. So there’s no need to worry about bottom quark bombs. [7 Strange Facts About Quarks]

The discovery is exciting, though, because it’s the first theoretical proof that it’s possible to fuse subatomic particles together in ways that release energy, Karliner said. That’s brand-new territory in the physics of very tiny particles, made possible by an experiment in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the massive particle-physics laboratory near Geneva.

Here’s how the physicists made this discovery.

At CERN, particles zip around a 17-mile-long (27 kilometers) underground ring at near light speed before smashing into one another. The scientists then use powerful computers to sift through the data from those collisions, and strange particles sometimes emerge from that research. In June, something especially strange turned up in the data from one of those collisions: a “doubly charmed” baryon, or a bulky cousin of the neutron and proton, itself made up of two cousins of the “bottom” and “top” quarks known as “charm” quarks.

Now, charm quarks are very heavy compared to the more common top quarks that make up protons and neutrons. And when heavy particles bind together, they convert a large chunk of their mass into binding energy, and in some cases, produce a bunch of leftover energy that escapes into the universe. [Wacky Physics: The Coolest Little Particles in Nature]

When two charm quarks fuse, Karliner and Rosner found, the particles bind with an energy of about 130 MeV and spit out 12 MeV in leftover energy (about two-thirds of the energy of deuteron-triton fusion). That charmed fusion was the first reaction of particles on this scale ever found to emit energy in this way, and is the headline result of the new study, published yesterday (Nov. 1) in the journal Nature.

The even more energetic fusion of two bottom quarks, which bind with an energy of 280 MeV and spit out 138 MeV when they fuse, is the second, and more powerful of the two reactions discovered.

So far, these reactions are entirely theoretical and haven’t been demonstrated in a lab. That next step should come soon though. Karliner said he expects to see the first experiments showing this reaction at CERN within the next couple years.

Original article: Charm Quark Fusion Subatomic Hydrogen Bomb