Neil deGrasse Tyson's Words Inspire Cosmic Song and Music Video for Kids

The inspiring words of Neil deGrasse Tyson are at the heart of a new music video by musician Lori Henriques, who created a beautiful cosmic lullaby for kids by combining Tyson's words with an American folk song.

The video features a sort of puppet show using paper cutouts — two people look up at a starry sky and then take a trip through a cosmic landscape. The song that accompanies this beautiful scene is called "When I Look Up Into the Night Sky," and appears on Henriques' science album, "The World is a Curious Place to Live."

Henriques arranged the music using a melody from the American folk tune "Saint James Infirmary." And the lyrics she wrote were inspired by a quote Tyson gave in a Time magazine interview, when he was asked what he considered "the most amazing fact" about the universe. 

Here's the complete quote from Tyson:

"The knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on earth ― the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars — the high mass ones among them — went unstable in their later years — they collapsed and then exploded — scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy ― guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems ― stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. 

"So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that, yes, we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up — many people feel small, cause they're small and the universe is big. But I feel big because my atoms came from those stars."

Henriques' album is available on Amazon and on iTunes. A thanks to Brainpickings for bringing the video to our attention. 

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Calla Cofield
Senior Writer

Calla Cofield joined's crew in October 2014. She enjoys writing about black holes, exploding stars, ripples in space-time, science in comic books, and all the mysteries of the cosmos. Prior to joining Calla worked as a freelance writer, with her work appearing in APS News, Symmetry magazine, Scientific American, Nature News, Physics World, and others. From 2010 to 2014 she was a producer for The Physics Central Podcast. Previously, Calla worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (hands down the best office building ever) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. Calla studied physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is originally from Sandy, Utah. In 2018, Calla left to join NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory media team where she oversees astronomy, physics, exoplanets and the Cold Atom Lab mission. She has been underground at three of the largest particle accelerators in the world and would really like to know what the heck dark matter is. Contact Calla via: E-Mail – Twitter