Lyrics and Music ©2013 by Bill Roper

We pulled into the Doubletree Hotel for OVFF at around 6 PM local time, which wasn't too bad, considering some of the challenges we had on the trip, including Katie dropping her hamburger, which led to a twenty minute detour for reasons that are mostly unprintable. :)

I had written a song for the OVFF songwriting contest, for which the theme was "Once Upon a Time". And by the time I registered and walked by the sign up sheet, it was full. And overfull. And people were writing entries in the margins. So I figured I'd join them and scrawled my name in at position 21.

Not surprisingly, I didn't end up getting into the contest. But I sang the song later during the open filk and it got a reasonable reception. :)

Anyway, the song is actually the opening for the long-stalled musical that I've been writing off and on for years now. And that's a good thing...

Am7                          Em7         G           Dm7        Fmaj7
Once upon a time there was a forest that grew at the end of the world.
It was dark and deep.
It could steal your sleep.
It was the place where all the shadows swirled.
      Am7                Em7            G          Dm7   Fmaj7
And a wise man would not go there and a fool would not return.
And if you looked past the lies
That are trapped in his lost eyes,
You’d see the final thing he learned.

     Dm                 Am7
That magic always has a price
    E7/D                             Am7
And sometimes what it asks for isn’t very nice.
    Dm                               C/G
You never know what you will have to sacrifice
       G/D    E7
In the end
                 Am7     Em7   Am7   Em7
For what you’d defend.

At the end of the road there was a village by the forest at the end of the world.
And the people there
Knew they didn’t care
For the magic the old wizard hurled.
And he lived in the forest and they stayed safe in their town.
And the patterns he erected
Round the thing that he protected
Would lead the village folk to frown.

In the village lived a brother and a sister and everybody knew they were strange.
There was something of the other
That they’d gotten from their mother
And a fate they couldn’t rearrange.
And she wove thread in patterns into fabric that was wondrous to see,
But in order to get paid
She would have to make a trade
To guarantee its purity.

        Fmaj7          Cmaj7
And the wizard wove protection
         Em7                       Dm7
With the light of the moon and the stars
        Fmaj7           Cmaj7
And the forest’s dark infection
       Em7            E7
Stayed locked away by shining bars.
      Dm7           Am7
But a new game is beginning.
      Dm7               Am7
A new power has come to play.
        Dm7             Am7
There’s sinning for the winning
           Em7 E7            Am7
All locked up – in shades of gray.

(Chorus twice)
                Am7   Em7
And who you’d defend.
                Am7   Em7   Am7 Em7 Am7 Em7 Am7
And why you’d defend.