Howdy all. I didn't yet introduce you to Michael Martin Murphey, but the time is now. I feel that at this season of the year you'll be open to something reflectively nostalgic, and so I am offering you (transcribed by my own hand) 'Once Upon A Time'. The song opens with a long, and some might say soupy, intro of strings and such; and then, just when you think that's over, the piano comes in and there's more intro. Finally, however, it's the voice with the story:
Daddy was a family man and the only way he knewCareful listeners will have noticed how, beginning with 'Daddy', Michael Martin has started to broaden out towards a larger theme. 'Daddy' represents the memory not just of hearth, home and amazing tales, but of a better time and condition of life. The song now blossoms into its full critique:
To entertain the children when old man winter blew
Was to sit them down and gather them round that great big fireplace
And say these words as he watched the firelight flicker on each face:
'Once upon a time, in a land far away,
In the days of old, there were knights so bold, and heroes saved the day
Once upon a time, there were kingdoms on the hill,
There were dungeons deep in the castle keep and soldiers of iron will.'
He'd make us see it all in every line
And he'd take us back to once upon a time.
So turn the TV off, put the video games away
Come sit down beside me, tell me what you did today.
I'll sit you down and I'll take you around to a world of fantasy
Where anything you dream tonight waits there for you and me.
Once upon a time in a land far away
There were days of old and knights so bold, and heroes saved the day.
Once upon a time way up around the bend
There were days of glory and every story had a happy end
And the ballads of the old-time minstrels rhymed
Way on back in once upon a time.
Seems like we don't spend enough time together any more:And, do you know?, there are people who maintain that there's no serious intellectual content to the Momma 'n' Daddy tradition.
Just throw on your clothes and fix your lunch and slam that kitchen door.
Then we all come home at night and sit around and stare
At that big old box full of nothing over in the corner there.
Once upon a time, oh things were different then:
There were dungeons, dragons and gypsy wagons in the days of way back when.
Once upon a time there was still a wrong and right
Before we got the power to blow it all into the night.
Tell me now wouldn't it be fine
If this could still be once upon a time.
Children, it could still be fine
Tonight could still be once upon a time.
[The Momma 'n' Daddy Archive, containing all the details of the series, is here.]