Gospel Cola Cover Art



Recorded at Digital Penguin Studio, Houston, Texas.

Produced by Frank Hart and Atomic Opera

Engineered and Mixed by Ryan Birsinger.

Mastered by Bob Boyd at Ambient Digital


Atomic Opera is:

Frank Hart
(Vocal, Guitar, Cello)

Kemper Crabb
(Vocal, Mandolin, Dulcimer, Recorder, Bozouki, Harmonica, Ocarina)

Ryan Birsinger
(Bass, Stick, Vocal)

John Simmons
(Drumset, Percussion, Vocal)

Additional Musicians:

Byron Roy - Hammond Organ, Rhodes
Andy Bowen - Pipe Organ

Photography by Frank & Kim Hart

Graphic Design & Layout by Frank Hart (FeverDream Productions)

Dusty The Evangelical Penguin Illustrations by John Simmons


These people are also to blame for the existence of this album, we couldn't have done it without them: Metal Blade/Bill Metoyer and Brian Slagel, Ty & Wanda Tabor, Kim Hart, Wally Farkas, Ben Huggins, Thadd & Pam Grimm, Trinity Episcopal Church/Rev. William Miller and Jimmy Grace, Barbara/Bob/Jeff/Cherish/Gabe Hart, Allison Leal, Dennis Lange, Matt Weaver, Steven Charnquist, Tim Munson, Bert Orange, Mr. Joel Fulgham, Mr. Mike Lefebvre, Mr. Jim Chapin, Mr. Terry Bozzio, Mars (Gerry Gallegos, Darryl Clingham, James Douglas and Crew), Guitar Center (Damien Lagle and crew), Steve Bundrick, Emmanuel Episcopal Church/Rev. William Russell - Rector, Logos - Ben Young, Buddy "Rover" Simmons, Claudie Dog, Jerry Gaskill, Doug Pinnick, Monty Colvin, Alan Doss, Al/Marcia/Alan/Christine/Joy/Gary/Michele/Julie/Linda Birsinger, Gina & Will Kehres, Dave & Caroline Hartung, Harold & J.D., Mark & Heather, Greg, Mike T., Jim, Gabe, T.J., Josh, All Caedmonians, Skip Burrows, Grassroots/Kirby & Brett Tapolino, Amy DeWeese, Kendall Elkins, C.C.R.E. (R.I.P.), Aric Nitzberg, Mandolin Jen Wife, Tommye/Kemper/Charity/Asheton Crabb, Dulcimer Darryl, Glen & Jane Fitzjerrell, Bozouki Mark/Dawna/Cassidy/Schedel, Luitjen, Cliff, Logos Class, Archbishop Wayne, Kristy, David & Cindy Purifoy, Sylvia Boisclair, Koichi, Toru Irie







The Circle is Closed


Jesus Junk

Love is as Strong as Death



My Head




Stop My Heart



JESUS JUNK (Click for RealAudio Sample)

Lyrics: Frank Hart & Kemper Crabb
Music: Frank Hart & John Simmons


I want a Virgin Mary nightlamp
Bible hero lunch box
The Shroud of Turin on my wristwatch
Only listen to Christian ... Rock

Gospel Cola in the morning
Then make my Velvet Jesus Bed
I want some Holy Trini-Tea Bags
Covenant Candy fish ... and loaves of bread

Gold plated Crown of Thorns Messiah Ring
Belt buckle's a decending dove
Hang a chrome fish on my truck
They'll know we're Christians by our love
... Of junk

All my Jesus Junk
Yeah, my Jesus Junk
I am
A Jesus Junkie

Give me a piece of the true cross
The thigh bone of a saint
I long for something Holy
This sub-culture ain't ... real

Testa Mints to make my breath fresh
Bible Gum and Christian science fiction Where Jesus turns wine into water.


Sewn onto a $30 ball cap.
(Answer: He wouldn't pay
$30 for a ball cap.)
- Bad Buddha Observation




Lyrics: Frank Hart
Music: Frank Hart

Is there a vacuum in me
Is there a great big hole
Does my life suck as bad as yours
(Will you swallow my soul?)
Is there a thought in my head
you walk a mile in my bed
Is there life before death
Can you breathe my thick hot breath
Can you kiss it
and make it feel better
Can you kiss me
and make me feel
Can you fill
my aching need
Will you hold me as I bleed
Time will wait for me to fall
It's the original fall
I'm not everything that I need
It's not good to be alone
Cause I'm naked and ugly and scared
And I'm falling everywhere
I can feel my heart turn grey
Cause I love and hate you
I have everything thing
That I lack
As I push my heart to black
By one man sin came in
We all restart that flame
I think it sucks
(I know it does)
But, it's all in the beginning.


"Obviously, this is a song about the Fall."
- Bad Buddha




Lyrics: Frank Hart
Music: Frank Hart & John Simmons

I think it's strange
How we blame the Darkness
Blame it on the light
I think it's strange
How we do the wrong things
And undo the right
Strange ... We try and explain
All the bad things we survive
Jesus. This is
Jesus. This is
I think it's strange
How faith is a blind thing
And there's no one we trust
I think it's strange
When it's always cold
But it's never XPmas
Strange ... We doubt what we know
Try and believe in ourselves
Free to fly
Free to fall
Free to empty
Free to be filled
Free to help
Free to hurt
Free to love and
Free to evil

"Is Aslan safe?"
"No, child, Aslan is
a lion. He is not safe, but He is good."
(From The Lion, the Witch,
and the Wardrobe)




Lyrics: Frank Hart
Music: Frank Hart

Maybe I am misunderstood
Maybe I'm missing Conviction
Maybe I'm minding my own mind
Maybe I'm making moonsenseshine
I've turned my head around baby
I've turned my head around ...
And I'm better now.
Maybe I am just mad it seems
Maybe I'm sleeping in my dreams Maybe
Maybe I am mistaken ,hey
Maybe I don't know know anything Maybe
I've turned my head around baby
I've turned my head around ...
And I'm better now.
I call it what it is and what it's not
I say what I mean and what I don't
I worship God when I'm alone
Too much time inside ... My Dome
I've turned my head around baby
I've turned my head around ...
And I'm better now.
I used to believe
There is a house of prayer
I'm going crazy
I used to agree
Believers should meet there
I'm going crazy
Maybe I am a mandrin mad
Maybe I am a mountain head Maybe
Maybe I am a blue mean freak
My mystic momma's heat

"The history of modernity is a long descent into madness."
- Kemper Crabb



Lyrics: Frank Hart
Music: Frank Hart

There's more silence
than words
and emptiness
It's at the base
of all of us
It's the answer to our questions
It will remind you of nothing
Like life,
and death
But silence was before all
It fills
their every breath
Why is there so much

Why is there so much
The word of God is silence.
I need to hear
I long to
Please stop this silence
Can not be
traced to anything
Can't be
replaced by anything
Is not
exchanged with anything
the base of everything.

" "
- Ryan Birsinger



Lyrics: Kemper Crabb
Music: Kemper Crabb & Frank Hart

Time flows back from the end-
A foe or a friend-
Depending upon how you choose:
Bliss or the Blues.
Igniting our fuse-
We win or we lose.
You hold my past
But I am your future.
The present connects our history.
The Circle is closed beginning to end.
Mystery grows - from lover to friend.
Eternity shows my heart in your hand.
The Circle is closed.
Life moves on toward its goal-
Taking a toll-
Holding the answers to why
The lonely ones cry.
There's truth in a sigh.
You are my rhyme
I am your reason
Balancing body and soul.
In the back of my mind
Like smoke on a mirror
You color everything I do.
You are my melody
And I am your meter.
music and movement make our song.


"Creation is
- Kemper Crabb





Lyrics: Frank Hart
Music: Frank Hart & John Simmons


It didn't have to be obscene
To stop my heart with fantasy
It's beautiful, but
All I want is you
It didn't have to be so complete
You could have left
Some room for Mystery
When I turn out the light
All I see is you
I can hardly wait
In the place where
I've been waiting
From the start
Will I find a place to
Stop my heart
You didn't have to be so mean
You could have held me as I
Searched for meaning
When I reach for the sky
All I see is you
You didn't have to be so cold
When I look in the mirror
I feel so old
It's all meaningless
But I believe in you

"There is a chilling
cold comfort to be
found in the Book of
Job: God made things
the way they are, and
He has a plan for us,
however ...
We are on a need
to know basis."

- Bad Buddha




Lyrics: Frank Hart
Music: Frank Hart & John Simmons


There are too many painters
And not enough beauty
Too many hours
And not enough time
Too many singers
And not enough music
Too many reasons
And not enough rhyme
Will you meet me here in the light?
Will you fill my heart with your life?
Will you inspire?
There are too many drummers
And not enough rhythm
Too many dancers
And not enough life
Too many poets
And not enough answers
Too many questions and too many lies
Too many cameras
And not enough vision
Far too many lovers
Who never were friends
Too many directions
to too many places
Too many beginnings
and very few ends

"Let's all do our part to stop the senseless killing of the Artist within by the Evangelist without."
- Bumper sticker seen on a dumpster behind a Christian Coffee House




Lyrics: Frank Hart
Music: John Simmons & Frank Hart
We stand beneath the sky
We swear our love will never end
We sleep before the grave
We believe that life will always be in
Love is as strong as death
Is as strong as love
We see beyond our soul
We speak the words that shape our hope
We vow to hold the true
We believe that we will always be in
Love is as strong as
Death is as strong as love
With the promise of our youth
The silence from the truth
The passing of the rage
The glory of a child
The tearing of the page
We stand before the sky
We swear our love will never die
We'll sleep under the grave
With the promise that we'll always stay
in love

"The greatest Love that ever existed was cruelly put to death. Fortunately, it was only temporary."
- Johnny, Your Drummer



Lyrics: Kemper Crabb
Music: Kemper Crabb & Frank Hart

I stopped and asked a strange old man who was looking to the East, if perchance he knew the time of day. He looked at me so suddenly and with such a fiercesome gaze, that I could see the wisdom in his eyes. "Having eyes to see," said he, "can you not read the signs that are written in the sky and on your soul? For now the sky is burning red and there's just one thing left unsaid: Apocalypse isn't future tense, apocalypse is now. Apocalypse in the present tense, apocalypse is now."


Lyrics: Kemper Crabb
Music: Kemper Crabb & Frank Hart

The judges sat outside the Law
And in their pride no evil saw
In setting teeth to Satan's jaw
And feeding him our children.
When viewed in terms of cost and ease
An unborn child is a disease
A holocaust seen fit to please
Our own convience.
A curse A curse the Law it cries.
A curse a curse on mankind's pride.
A curse on him who would deny
God's image in mankind.
Torn from out their mother's womb
Denied the sky - denied a tomb
Conceived in lust to their own ruin
A sacrifice to pleasure.
The doctors with their blood red hands
Who love their money more than man,
With greed their god they lay their plans
The butchers of mankind.
A curse a curse the blood cries out
A curse a curse the heavens shout
A curse a curse on he who flouts
God's image in mankind.
O rid us of this evil, Lord
And turn our hearts by cross or Sword.
Our nation cannot long afford
To live beneath your judgements.
A curse a curse upon their heads
O save them Lord or slay them dead
And fill our country with your Dread
And turn away Your anger.

"Part of my hope for Heaven is the chance to meet you and beg your forgiveness. It's strange. Though I've never seen you, I miss you and think about you most days. Not knowing you, never holding you, never loving you, has been a curse on my head. I'm sorry my child."
- John Simmons



Lyrics: Allison Leal & Frank Hart
Music: Frank Hart & John Simmons

All I ever wanted
Was something huge
Not this
Crumb of crusty bread
Starched, whited linen
Not the here
Most equal of shoulders pewed
Pressed together and crowded
Rising in unison
In a perfect world
We'll find the questions
In a world without end
Arched beams stretched over us
Like ribs
This common sense of surface
refracted light of windows paned
This procession of vows
Hovering in the rebreathed air
This numbering of days
For these two thousand years
This amen
Not This
This cup.

"If someone does not believe in trees, they should not go into the forest, or someone will bust their nose on a low hanging branch and blame it on God."
- Bad Buddha


The Atomic Operaen Creed
(From the Council of Wardmont, 1999)

Atomic Opera believes in one God, The Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible: Atomic Opera believes in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, Begotten of his Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; Begotten, not made, being of one substance (homousios) with the Father; by whom all things were made; who, for us men (including Atomic Opera) and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered death and was buried; He decended into Hell, and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again to judge the quick and the dead and Atomic Opera; whose kingdom shall have no end. And Atomic Opera believes in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified (by Atomic Opera); Who spake by the prophets. And Atomic Opera believes One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; Atomic Opera acknowledges one Baptism for the remission of sins; And Atomic Opera looks for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Atomic Opera's chief end is to worship God and enjoy Him forever. Ý

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Atomic Opera
1115 Wardmont
Houston, TX


Lyrics Reprinted
by permission.
All rights reserved.


All songs ©2000

A Comic Opera Music (ASCAP),




"The Circle Is Closed,"



Fifth Monarchy Music


"Reiah Deserns The Times,"

©2000 Fourth Ecologue