How Beautiful, the Universe


Andromeda Galaxy
Andromeda Galaxy image by Dr. Steven Labkoff, LuminantPix

About six months ago, I wrote a song for my longtime friend and professional colleague, Steven Labkoff. He was hosting a performance of my “One-Guitar Show” in his driveway for the folks from his synagogue who helped him get through his bout with COVID earlier in the year. I had been wanting to add a special bit to the show where I add a new song to the second act specifically for a particular performance.


Steve and I became friends late last century. We share a profession and a love of acoustic guitar and photography. I lean more toward guitar and Steve has become an amazingly skilled photographer — his astrophotography is especially astounding.


So I wanted his song to somehow incorporate all the aspects of his love of capturing galaxies in pixels and his gratitude to his friends. This is the song I came up with — “How Beautiful, the Universe (Ka-ma Yafeh H’olam).” I finally got around to recording it with Kristen Jones on cello and hubby Rob Hinkal engineering.


Steve and I will be working on a “real” video for the fully mixed song over his winter break. Stay tuned. I have a feeling it will be something very special.


How beautiful, the Universe (Ka-ma yafeh h’olam)


The night is quiet

All is still

Even the wind and clouds have gone

Here in this field

I’m chilled to the bone

But I am not alone


For tonight

My companions are the stars

For tonight

I’m communing with Saturn’s rings

The moons of Mars

Tonight

I’m with my friends

Though they stay miles away from me

Tonight

I’m swimming in this sea I see


How beautiful, the Universe

Ka-ma yafeh h’olam

How beautiful, the Universe

Ka-ma yafeh h’olam


The night is quiet

I am deathly ill

Even my family has gone

Here in my bed

I’m chilled to the bone

Still am not alone


For tonight

My friends don’t stay away

For tonight

They help in ways I can’t repay

Night after night

All my friends

Keep returning faithfully

Tonight

I’m swimming in this love I see

Science says we all are made of stardust

The stars of old are woven in our souls

So everything we do or say

Is tied into the Universe

Every loving deed

A thread in the tapestry


The night is quiet

All is still

Even the wind and clouds have gone

Here in this field

I’m chilled to the bone

Yet I am not alone


For tonight

My companions are the stars

For tonight

I’m communing with Saturn’s rings

The moons of Mars

Tonight

I’m with my friends

They’re all standing here with me

Tonight

I’m swimming in this love I see

But oh, how much more beautiful

I learned the Universe could be

The night the stardust came to me


How beautiful, the Universe

Ka-ma yafeh h’olam

How beautiful, the Universe

The night it came to me


(c)2021 Ross D. Martin




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