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My Parents, Led Zeppelin, Isaac Newton, and James T. Kirk

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To my parents, on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary:

To mom, when I thought about you and about this day, I thought of Led Zeppelin, and of one Led Zeppelin song in particular, the song, “No Quarter.”

The phrase, “no quarter” is taken from ancient battlefields, where it means, essentially, “no mercy.” If a general declared that there would be, “no quarter: none asked, none given” in a battle to come, that meant no prisoners would be taken that day.

In the song, “No Quarter,” we hear the story of a band of warriors who are marching through a blizzard in the dark of night, on a desperate mission to save their families:

Walking side-by-side with death,
The devil mocks their every step. 
The snow drives back the foot that’s slow,
The dogs of doom are howling low.
They carry news that must get through,
To build a dream for me and you.
They choose the path where no one goes,
They hold no quarter,
They ask no quarter. 

For those of you who know her story, maybe you’re not too surprised that …