Byrdmouse is a devoted husband and father that says what's on his mind even if no one else agrees with him.

In fact, especially if no one else agrees with him

By Jove!

One year in high school, the opener to our halftime show was Jupiter. As a 14 or 15 year old (was it 85 or 86? Help me out here, Edee) I thought this was the dumbest opener ever. What I never expected was that it would grow on me, but grow it did. So much that I have since bought multiple copies of the complete Planets by Gustav Holst. Holst created the 7 movement piece to highlight each of the planets individually. Pluto had not been discovered or accepted as a planet when he worked. There was no "Earth" movement, as he expected to do that with the complete work. The greatest living American Composer (and number 3 on the all time list of Greatest American Composers), John Williams, borrowed freely from The Planets, especially from the first movement, Mars The Bringer of War, for the sinister tones of the Empire. Despite that, my favorite remains the fourth movement, Jupiter The Bringer of Jollity. It represents the prime of life and has an overplayed central melody that makes it truly stick inside your head. A poem that is famous in the British Isles was set to this music. The first verse was played at Charles and Diana's wedding, and the second was played at Diana's funeral.

And there's another Country I've heard of long ago,Most Dear to them that Love her,most Great to them that Know.

We may not count her Armies.We may not see her King.Her Fortress is a faithful Heart;her Pride is Suffering.And Soul by Soul and silently,her shining Bounds increase And her ways are ways of Gentleness and all her paths are Peace!

We may not count her Armies.We may not see her King.Her Fortress is a faithful Heart;her Pride is Suffering.And Soul by Soul and silently,her shining Bounds increase And her ways are ways of Gentleness and all her paths are Peace!

Last week, with the iPod on shuffle, and me in a reflective mood, good old number 4 came on and I realized the importance this song plays now in my life. The greatest bit of importance is that my high school years, especially the time I spent in band, has an incredible soundtrack. I get very reminiscent as I listen to it.

I have written some parts of my work in progress while listening to The Planets. Some of my characters take a spin around Jupiter from time to time to keep up their immortality, a point which is more obvious in the story then the fact that going around Jupiter is an homage to some other forms of humanistic religion. As a science fiction work that uses interstellar and faster than light travel as a metaphor for religions it just seems appropriate even though Holst intended it as a tribute of sorts to astrology. Holst later gave up astrology and later grew to hate the piece which was his more popular.

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For the record I have also listened to Joe Satriani and the second Greatest American composer of all times, Aaron Copland. I mention them because in addition to the Favorite Author Posts, I should probably name the Greatest American Composers as well. Perhaps next year.