Library Song
(For Frank and Carl B.)

Bill: This was actually the first song that Gretchen and I wrote together. She’d listened to “The Wind From Rainbow’s End” a time or two too many and, well, was getting just a bit annoyed by the protagonist’s approach to life. So she wrote a response and asked me if I’d set it to music for her.

I happily said “Sure!”

And promptly left the lyrics at her house. Then I had to ask very nicely to get them back, because she thought this meant that I didn’t want to set them to music. And when I did get them, it took a while, because I wanted to write the right tune.

I think I did. And so does Gretchen.

Gretchen: And here’s all of the references, in case you missed any.

"Flyball" is the Space Cat, the feline hero of a series of juvenile SF books by Ruthven Todd. I loved these books when I was a kid. I still do.

"Philias Phogg" is from Around the World In 80 Days. I know he didn't fly a balloon in the book, but I needed the rhyme.

"Christopher Robin" is the little boy in the Winnie-The-Pooh books.

"Christopher Godfrey" is the hero of a series of Young Adult novels by Hugh Walters.

"Kip" and "Pee Wee" are the kids from Have Spacesuit , Will Travel by Robert Heinlein.

The "Runaway Robot" by Isaac Asimov was a favorite of my then-husband. So I put it in the song.

"Meg Murray" is the heroine of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. She was the first girl I found in a book that thought like me.

"Dorothy" is Dorothy Gale, the girl that went to Oz in the books by L. Frank Baum.

"Alice" is the girl that went through the looking glass and to Wonderland in the books by Lewis Carroll.

"Carl B." Is the Carl B. Roden Public Library, the branch of the Chicago Public Library in Norwood Park, the library I grew up with.

"Frank" is my dad, Frank W. Duntemann. His father, for reasons never made clear, would not let his children have library cards. So as soon as we qualified he made sure my brother and I had our cards.

Thanks, Dad.