Sunday, March 27, 2011

George Matheson

Scottish minister George Matheson was born today in Glasgow in 1842. He entered the university there at fifteen, and during his time there his already-poor eyesight deteriorated to the point of blindness. Undeterred, he continued his studies with the help of his sisters and was awarded several academic honors. His first degree was in philosophy, followed by one in divinity, after which he was licensed to preach in the Church of Scotland.

Over the next several years he became a renowned preacher, adding to his fame when the first of his several books was published in 1874. He continued to write books and articles on theology and comparative religions even after his retirement in 1899, until his death from a stroke in 1906.

He published only one book of poetry, Sacred Songs (1890), though he did not include his most well-known hymn until the third edition in 1904. He considered O Love that wilt not let me go to be a special case as it was written with an ease that he never experienced again. Most of the poems in Sacred Songs are not suited to be hymns, but a few of them have also appeared in hymnals, such as this one.

Jesus, Fountain of my days,

Wellspring of my heart's delight.

Brightness of my morning rays,

Solace of my hours of night,

Loving thee I shall arise

To the hope of cloudless skies.

As thy presence on the deep

Calmed the pulses of the sea,

And the waters sank to sleep

In the rest of seeing thee,

So my restless, troubled will

Heard the mandate, "Peace, be still!"

Now thy will and mine are one,

Heart in heart and hand in hand;

All the clouds and all the sun,

All the ships have reached the land;

And thy love has said to me,

"No more night!" and "No more sea!"

George Matheson, 1890; alt.

Leipzig Choralbuch, 1816;

harm. William Henry Havergal, 1861

P.S. - In many churches today, the Gospel lesson was the story of the woman at the well (
John 4:4-41), which brings to mind this hymn from a few years ago.

Two Years Ago:
George Matheson

One Year Ago:
George Job Elvey

Another Birthday Today:
Emma Ashford

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fanny Crosby

The popular and prolific song writer Frances Jane Crosby (March 24, 1820 - February 12, 1915) was born in the town of South East, NY. Her mother, Mercy, was widowed shortly thereafter, and went to work as a maid to support the family, leaving the infant Fanny in the care of her grandmother, Eunice. She then suffered an eye infection that was treated incorrectly, which led to blindness.

Her grandmother initially oversaw her education at home, and as a child she had memorized the first four books of the Old Testament by the time she was ten. Later, in 1834, she continued her education at the New York Institute for the Blind (still in operation today); after graduating, she returned there as a teacher of English, rhetoric, and American history.

Long before she began writing sacred texts for Sunday school music in 1864, she had already published books of poetry, beginning in 1844, and had collaborated on secular songs and longer works with composers such as George Root (their 1852 cantata, The Flower Queen, can now be seen online) and Lowell Mason.

Later, of course, her gospel songs came to be numbered in the thousands, appearing in hundreds of hymnals and songbooks in the last third of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth. In the books of her primary publisher, Biglow & Main, usually around half of the the songs were by Crosby, often under her numerous pseudonyms. Crosby's own records showed that she wrote 5959 texts for Biglow & Main alone, and it's not known how many were written for other publishers. It's estimated that there may have been a few thousand texts written by Fanny that were never published. In 1977, Hope Publishing Company (the successor to Biglow & Main) published 120 of these (a small fraction!) as Fanny Crosby Speaks Again, edited by Donald P. Hustad.

This is one of those texts which was not published in Crosby's lifetime. Hope Publishing has graciously allowed the reprinting of those texts in their 1977 collection even though under current copyright law, they are not in the public domain.

O Love divine, amazing Love,
That brought to earth from heav'n above,
The Son of God for us to die,
That we might dwell with him on high.

For us the crown of thorns he bore,
For us the robe of scorn he wore,
He conquered death and rent the grave,
And lives again our souls to save.

O wanderer, come, on him believe,
His offered grace by faith receive;
Awake, arise, and hear him call,
The feast is spread -- there's room for all!

Fanny Crosby, 1905
Tune: LOUVAN (L.M.)
Virgil C. Taylor, 1850
Words Copyright © 1977 by Hope Publishing Company
Used by permission.

LOUVAN is a tune that Fanny Crosby would probably have known; it appeared in many hymnals of her day (and still a few today).

An early account of Crosby's life was written by Robert Lowry and published in her 1897 poetry collection Bells at Evening (which was dedicated "to all who sing my hymns"). In addition to the outline of her life, he gives some details about the working relationships between her several of the composers who wrote tunes for her texts. Of her many, many songs, he writes:

The time has not yet come when Fanny Crosby's place among the hymn writers of Christendom may be determined, but it is safe to say that, of the many hymns which have come up from the throbbings of her warm heart, there will be found in the ultimate sifting no inconsiderable number which the world will not willingly let die.

Two Years Ago: Fanny Crosby

One Year Ago: Fanny Crosby

Sunday, March 20, 2011

May Whittle Moody

Composer May Whittle Moody (March 20, 1870 - August 20, 1963) was a second-generation hymnist, the daughter of gospel songwriter Daniel Webster Whittle. Daniel Whittle was a friend of the evangelist Dwight Moody, and May attended the Northfield Seminary for Young Women, one of two schools founded by Moody in Northfield, Massachusetts. She went on to study music at Oberlin College and the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Returning to this country, she joined her father and Moody in their evangelistic work as a solo singer and she also began writing tunes for some of her father's texts. In 1894 she married Dwight Moody's son William, and they returned to Northfield, where William headed the schools founded by his father there.

This collaboration between father and daughter was one of their last. Daniel Whittle died the following spring, in 1901, and for the last year of his life he lived with May and her family.

They tell me the story of Jesus is old,
And they ask that we preach something new;
They say the example of Christ's loving care
For the wise of this world will not do.

It can never grow old, it can never grow old,
Though a million times over the story is told;
While there is injustice and pain in the world,
The story of Jesus can never grow old.

Yet the story is old, as the sunlight is old,
Though it’s new every morn all the same;
As it floods all the world with its gladness and light,
Kindling faraway stars by its flame.

For what can we tell to the weary of heart,
If we preach not salvation from sin?
And how can we comfort the souls that depart,
If we tell not how Christ rose again?

So with sorrow we turn from the wise of this world,
To the wanderers far from the fold;
With hearts for the message they’ll join in our song,
That the story can never grow old.

Daniel Whittle, 1900; alt.
Tune: ETERNAL STORY (Irregular with refrain)
May Whittle Moody, 1900

The Cyber Hymnal page for this song has a quote from 1 Corinthians 3:19 "The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." If you've ever heard a discussion of using modern marketing techniques to bring people to church, this song might speak more directly to you.

In later years May also worked with Charles Alexander on the third edition of the Northfield Hymnal and after his death, produced the fourth revised edition herself in 1927.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Hymns That Keep On Going

If you have not already seen it, you will probably be interested in a recent article by the above title from Christianity Today (that you can read online). The author sifted through twenty-eight hymnals from "mainline" Protestant denominations, from 1877 to the present, which contained 4905 different hymns to find which ones were most often used over that entire period. His final list of twenty seven hymns appeared in at least twenty-six of those, and the top thirteen appeared in all of them.

Appeared in 28 of 28:

All hail the power of Jesus' Name

How firm a foundation

In the cross of Christ I glory

When I survey the wondrous cross

Appeared in 27 of 28:

All glory, laud, and honor

Come, thou almighty King

O, for a thousand tongues to sing

The Church's one foundation

Appeared in 26 of 28:

Christ the Lord is ris'n today

The day of resurrection

It's interesting to compare this list to the one from The Best Church Hymns (1899) which we've talked about here before. Louis Benson was working with a much larger number of hymnals (107), and there was much more variation between them, as no hymn appeared in all of those (the top hymn missed one!).

Comparing Benson's top thirteen with the top thirteen here (which appeared in all 28 hymnals), only two appear in both lists; Benson's #2, When I survey the wondrous cross and his #8, Abide with me. Three from the modern list moved up to that top thirteen, but ten of the original top thirteen dropped off the modern list entirely (though a few are probably not too far down in the #30s or 40s).

Of Benson's bottom nineteen, only nine of them remain on the modern list. So, between them, the two lists only share eleven hymns. Our tastes have changed (or at least, the tastes of hymnal editors). You probably know all of the hymns on this new list, which might not have been true of the older list.

The other thing to remember is that all of the hymns on the modern list were already published before Benson's 1899 book; they're not new hymns, but ones that have become much more popular today than they were a hundred years ago. Twenty-two of them didn't make the older list but for whatever reason, we prefer them now to two-thirds of Benson's selections.

One's favorite hymns are not necessarily the same as the most popular hymns, but I was a little surprised to realize that five of
my top ten hymns are on this new list. I expected to be a bit more exclusive than that (though if I thought about it today, my top ten might be a little different than it was when I wrote that almost two years ago).

Two Years Ago: Saint Joseph

Sunday, March 13, 2011

William Channing Gannett

Hymnwriter William Channing Gannett, born today in 1840, was a Unitarian minister who served several different congregations and was widely known in his time as a social reformer. Before the Civil War he had supported and worked for the cause of abolition. He interrupted his studies at the Harvard Divinity School to work with the New England Freedmen's Society in South Carolina during the war, helping former slaves and organizing a school. He apparently was planning to make this his life's work, but after four years his father's poor health brought him back to the North and he finally finished his studies. In later years he became a strong advocate for women's suffrage and education.

His first collection of hymns, Unity Hymns and Chorals (1880) was followed five years later by The Thought of God in Hymns and Poems. Both books were collaborations with his friend Frederick Lucian Hosmer, and the two worked on these books for years afterward, bringing out a number of revised editions with new material.

Gannett worked to encourage ecumenism and unity among churches, belonging to organizations such as the Free Religious Association and the New York state chapter of the Parliament of Religions. In 1887 he wrote Things Commonly Believed Among Us, a broad statement which was adopted by the Western Unitarian Conference. Today's hymn expresses similar concepts, which is probably why it is not more well-known.

It sounds along the ages,
Soul answering to soul;
It kindles on the pages
Of every Bible scroll;
The psalmist heard and sang it,
From martyr lips it broke,
The prophet tongues out-rang it
Till sleeping nations woke.

From Sinai's cliffs it echoed,
It breathed from Buddha's tree,
It charmed in Athens' market,
It hallowed Galilee;
The hammer stroke of Luther,
The Pilgrims' seaside prayer,
The oracles of Concord,
One holy Word declare.

It calls -- and lo, new justice!
It speaks -- and lo, new truth!
In ever nobler stature
And unexhausted youth.
Forever on resounding,
And knowing nought of time,
Our laws but catch the music
Of its eternal chime.

William Channing Gannett, 1894
Bohemian Brethren Hemlandssanger, 1892

What is "It"?

The explanation is not in the text. Modern-day Unitarian preachers will tell you that you're free to decide for yourself what "It" is (such as in this sermon), and that understanding might possibly suit Gannett, but in fact he did have something more concrete in mind. The text as it appeared in The Thought of God in Hymns and Poems was titled The Word of God. Hymnwriters of earlier days such as Philip Doddridge and Charles Wesley had often titled their texts only to see the titles abandoned over the years; while those titles sometimes give us a better insight into the texts than we might otherwise have, few are as essential as the title of this one.

The tune, which comes from the Bohemian Brethren (or Moravians), is named for the children's mission hymn by Percy Dearmer to which it is also matched: Remember all the people / Who dwell in far off lands., which is the kind of text that isn't sung much any more (due to lines such as Some work in sultry forests / Where apes swing to and fro).

In spite of Gannett's interest in ecumenism, his hymns have not received the same wider acceptance in other denominations as those of his collaborator Frederick Lucian Hosmer. Probably only two, Praise to the Living God, and Bring, O morn, thy music are known today in non-Unitarian collections.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Paul Gerhardt

Lutheran pastor and hymnwriter Paul Gerhardt was born today in 1607 near Wittenburg in Germany. He enrolled in the university there in 1628, where one of his most influential instructors, Paul Röber, often used hymns as sermon texts and encouraged their instructional use.

At this time, the destructive Thirty Years War was raging in Germany (it's estimated that the population of Germany declined by thirty percent during those years) and due to its disruption Gerhardt was not ordained and assigned to a parish until 1651, when he settled in Mittenwalde, southeast of Berlin.

Gerhardt could not avoid the religious conflict between the Lutherans and the Reformed Church, which eventually led to his losing his position since the secular authorities supported the other side. Ironically, by that time his hymns were already sung and loved by both the Lutheran and the Reformed sides.

After his death, his hymns were published in a collected edition edited by his son, and a collection translated into English by John Kelly, Spiritual Songs of Paul Gerhardt, appeared in 1867, though many of his texts had previously been translated by various poets.

This text, O du allersüsste Freude, comes to us through a translation by John Christian Jacobi which was then adapted by Samuel Longfellow in the Unitarian Book of Hymns (1848).

Holy Spirit, source of gladness,
Come in all your radiance bright;
O’er our weariness and sadness
Breathe your life and shed your light!

Send us your illumination,
Banish all our fears at length;
Rest upon this congregation,
Spirit of unfailing strength.

Let that love which knows no measure,
Now in quickening showers descend,
Bringing us the richest treasures
We can wish or God can send.

Hear our earnest supplication,
Every struggling heart release;
Rest upon this congregation,
Spirit of untroubled peace!

Paul Gerhardt, 1648;
tr. John C. Jacobi, c.1725;
adapt. Samuel Longfellow, 1848; alt.
Traditional English melody,
arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906

The chaotic times that Gerhardt lived through, as well as the disruption of his professional life and the deaths of his wife and four of five children, led him to be described as a "theologian sifted in Satan's sieve," an inscription written on a full-length portrait painted after his death in the church at Lübben.

Three Years Ago: Gregory the Great

Two Years Ago: Paul Gerhardt

One Year Ago: Robert Lowry

Thursday, March 10, 2011

John Bacchus Dykes

John Bacchus Dykes, born today in 1823, was for many years the most popular of the English Victorian hymn tune composers, and still today most hymnals include his tunes.

His musical career began first, at the age of ten when he began playing the organ at the church where his grandfather was the vicar, but following his graduation from Cambridge University (where he co-founded the Cambridge University Musical Society) he was ordained in the Church of England in 1847. He was precentor at Durham Cathedral for several years before leading the parish of St. Oswald's in Durham.

Though he was influenced by the Oxford Movement, he was blocked by his bishop from instituting any practices in his own parishes that might be seen as "high church." His requests for assisting clergy were denied until he promised three things: that incense would not be used during worship, that no clergy would wear colored stoles, and that the celebrant of the Eucharist would not face away from the people. He appealed his case to the Queen's Bench, but was not successful.

Several of his hymn tunes appeared in the first edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern (1861) and after that were in great demand in the big business of Victorian hymnal publishing. He supplied tunes for nearly every editor who requested them, regardless of denomination. In response to one American hymnal editor, J. Ireland Tucker (whose work was very influential in spreading Dykes's music to this country), regarding terms, he wrote:

I have never been accustomed to write for money, although I have frequently had an honorarium sent to me for work done. (...) Bur when a man has a large parish, and a family growing up, and is not overburdened with the world's goods, and finds considerable difficulty in making both ends meet, I suppose there is nothing objectionable in resorting to any legitimate means which God's good Providence may throw in his way for enabling him to pay his just and lawful debts. and obtain a little help for those who are dependent on him.

You will recognize many of his tunes, and most of his familiar tunes have already been seen here. This one is less familiar, but suits this German text by Wolfgang Dessler (translated by John Wesley).

Into thy gracious hands I fall,
And with the arms of faith embrace;
Loving Redeemer, hear my call,
O raise me, heal me, by thy grace!

Still let thy wisdom be my guide,
Nor take thy light from me away,
Still with me let thy grace abide,
That I from thee may never stray:

Let thy word richly in me dwell;
Thy peace and love my portion be;
My joy to endure and do thy will,
Till perfect I am found in thee.

From faith to faith, from grace to grace,
So in thy strength shall I go on,
Till heaven and earth flee from thy face,
And glory end what grace begun.

Wolfgang C. Dessler, 1692;
tr. John Wesley, 1739; alt.
Tune: CALM (L.M.)
John Bacchus Dykes, 19th cent.

Two Years Ago: John Bacchus Dykes

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

O Christ, whose tender mercy hears
Contrition’s humble sigh,
Whose hand indulgent, wipes the tears
From sorrow’s weeping eye.

See here, before your throne of grace,
A seeking wanderer mourn:
Have you not bid me seek your face?
Have you not said, “Return”?

Absent from you, my Guide, my Light!
Without one cheering ray,
Through dangers, fears, and gloomy nights,
How desolate my way!

O shine upon my weary heart,
With beams of mercy shine!
And let your healing voice impart
A taste of joys divine.

Anne Steele, 1760
Tune: BURFORD (C.M.)
Chetham's Psalmody, 1718

One (Calendar) Year Ago: Phoebe Knapp

Two (Liturgical) Yeara Ago: Ash Wednesday

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Let Us For a While Give O'er

Iu many churches today the readings will be recounting the story of the Transfiguration, which appears in three of the gospels. I believe this year's appointed version will be from Matthew 17:1-9. This is a twentieth-century innovation, because the true Feast of the Transfiguration falls on August 6. In earlier times, this Sunday was known as Quinquagesima, the last Sunday before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The latest this day can fall in the calendar is March 7, so we are pretty much at the limit this year.

One of the customs associated with Quinquagesima in some places was a kind of farewell observance, in preparation for giving various things up for the duration of the Lenten season. In liturgical worship, the word Alleluia (from the Hebrew, meaning praise to God) is not used during Lent, neither spoken, sung, nor chanted, so this would be its last Sunday appearance until it re-emerges at Easter.

There were various local rites in the medieval church for this renunciation. In the French city of Toul, up until the fifteenth century, they would celebrate a full requiem mass and bury a coffin ostensibly containing the word Alleluia, which may have been the most extreme form of observance.

The Latin hymn for this occasion, from the eleventh century, is still sung today, though not quite as they sang it in Toul. It originally began:

Alleluia, dulce carmen
Vox perennis gaudii,
Alleluia vos suavis
Est choris coelestibus,
Quam canunt Dei manentes
In domo per saecula.

This was translated by our old friend John Mason Neale, preserving the original meter, and appeared in his Hymnal Noted (1851), and does still in several hymnals today.

Alleluia, song of gladness,
Voice of joy that cannot die;
Alleluia is the anthem
Ever dear to choirs on high;
In the house of God abiding
Thus they sing eternally.

Alleluia thou resoundest,
True Jerusalem and free;
Alleluia, joyful mother,
All thy children sing with thee;
But by Babylon’s sad waters
Mourning exiles now are we.

Alleluia though we cherish
And would chant forevermore
Alluluia in our singing,
Let us for a while give o'er
As our Savior in his fasting
Pleasures of the world forbore.

Therefore in our hymns we pray thee,
Grant us, blessèd Trinity,
At the last to keep thine Easter
With thy faithful saints on high;
There to thee forever singing
Alleluia joyfully.

Latin, 11th cent.; tr. John Mason Neale, 1851; alt
Collection of Motetts and Antiphons, 1840

(there is, unfortunately, an egregious error in the harmony at the end of the third line)

The tune, which derives its name from this Latin text, had earlier appeared in plainsong form in An Essay on the Church Plain Chant (1782) by Samuel Webbe, but was arranged into its metrical form in a later book by Webbe. It's also been known as CORINTH and TANTUM ERGO, among other names.

Neale's first line of the translation was originally Alleluia, song of sweetness, which is really closer to the Latin dulce, but less often used today. His original third stanza is also quite different.

Alleluia we deserve not
Here to chant forevermore;
Alleluia our transgressions
Make us for a while give o’er;
For the holy time is coming
Bidding us our sins deplore.

I believe the revised version was written for the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 but I don't know by whom.

So here we have seven Alleluias to tide us over for the next six weeks. Alleluia will be back before we know it (nearly any good Easter hymn will have several of them). I'm kind of glad we don't have to actually bury it any more.

One (Liturgical) Year Ago: Not always on the mount may we

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Charles Wesley

Charles Wesley (December 18, 1707 - March 29, 1788) and his brother John are commemorated today in the calendar of the modern Episcopal Church. Charles was a priest in the Church of England, ordained in 1735, and always insisted that he remained faithful to that church, though he and his brother are considered the founders of the Methodist denomination.

Since the message of the Wesley brothers was not welcome in their own churches, they traveled widely and preached in many different places (including a year in the American colony of Georgia). Charles began writing hymns as a way to teach their doctrines in a shorter and more easily-remembered way than sermons. It's said that many of his hymns were composed on horseback while riding from place to place. Eventually his health forced him to curtail his traveling ministry and settle in one place, whereupon he devoted more time to hymnwriting. His final output was more than six thousand hymns, most published in many different collections during his lifetime.

Many of Wesley's hymns are still sung today, and by many more people than Methodists. Today's text is not as well-known as some, but many people have believed it to be his finest verse, including Isaac Watts, who wrote that this text was worth all the hymns he himself had written. Its immediate inspiration comes from Genesis 32:22-30, which is the story of Jacob wrestling with an unknown man in the night, and the hymn is often sung to accompany that lesson. But Wesley broadens the meaning to encompass an individual and personal meeting with God, coming to know God's true name and nature through the physical contact of "wrestling."

Come, O thou Traveler unknown,
Whom still I hold, but cannot see!
My company before is gone,
And I am left alone with thee;
With thee all night I mean to stay,
And wrestle till the break of day.
With thee all night I mean to stay,
And wrestle till the break of day.

I need not tell thee who I am,
My misery and sin declare;
Thyself hast called me by my name,
Look on thy hands, and read it there;
But who, I ask thee, who art thou?
Tell me thy name, and tell me now.
But who, I ask thee, who art thou?
Tell me thy name, and tell me now.

Yield to me now, for I am weak,
But confident in self-despair;
Speak to my heart, in blessings speak,
Be conquered by my instant prayer;
Speak, or thou never hence shalt move,
And tell me if thy name is Love.
Speak, or thou never hence shalt move,
And tell me if thy name is Love.

’Tis Love! ’tis Love! Thou diedst for me!
I hear thy whisper in my heart;
The morning breaks, the shadows flee,
Pure, universal love thou art;
To me, to all, thy mercies move;
Thy nature and thy name is Love.
To me, to all, thy mercies move;
Thy nature and thy name is Love.

Charles Wesley, 1742; alt.
Scottish melody, adapt. 1847

(The sound file is a bit faster than I think it should be sung.)

Wesley's original text was fourteen stanzas long, later shortened to twelve by his brother John. Twelve stanzas was the usual length in hymnbooks through the nineteenth century. The US Methodist Hymnal of 1905 shortened it to seven, and the 1935 edition to these four, which are generally sung today. The latest United Methodist Hymnal (1989), however, does include the entire fourteen-stanza text on the page following the four stanzas with music.

Two weeks after Charles' death, John Wesley was teaching this hymn to a congregation and broke down during the first stanza at the lines My company before is gone / And I am left alone with thee.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Saint David

March 1 is the feast day of the patronal saint of Wales, Saint David (or Dewi Sant in Welsh). He was a sixth-century monk and later Archbishop of Wales, said to have converted thousands from the pagan Celtic tribes to Christianity. St. David's Cathedral in Pembrokeshire was built after he was made a saint in the twelfth century, on the site of one of his monasteries. He is usually depicted in art with a dove on his shoulder or hovering near him, and he is also closely associated with water, as fresh springs are said to have erupted in the Welsh countryside to mark many of the milestones of his life.

There are hymns specifically written for Saint David, many probably untranslated into English. You can see one at this page (of uncertain provenance) with several other legends about his life and works. However, I thought I would take this day of Welsh celebration to gather together several of the Welsh hymn tunes already used here over the last three years. The tunes of Wales were said to be rousing melodies, some from older folk melodies, simple for a congregation to learn and remember, and were not from a high church tradition. This is probably still true today - you will probably know many of these even if you did not see them the first time around on the blog. I like them all.

These are most, if not all, of the Welsh tunes I've used, and I'm sure there are more to come (the familiar AR HYD Y NOS has not yet appeared, for example).

St. David's Day is also an occasion for large gatherings of Welsh choirs, particularly in the male choir tradition, and many of these hymn tunes were probably sung somewhere today. If you want to hear more of these tunes, searching for any of the tune names above at YouTube will probably bring up a rendition or two (or more) sung exuberantly by a Welsh male choir.

P.S. - Our commenter Leland is looking for some information on a particular Welsh hymn (the text, not the tune) at his blog, if anyone here happens to know more about it.