Lyrics and Music ©1980 by Bill Roper

There's a story here. Of course, there usually is.

Many years ago, when Teri Lee was assembling the "Minus Ten and Counting" cassette, she had asked about putting "Promises" on it and I had enthusiastically agreed. It's one of my favorite songs and hasn't been widely available for a variety of reasons.

The problem is that "Promises" is a long song. And as the rest of the tape came together, it became evident that there was a space problem. (It was a space tape. Go figure.) So Teri asked if I had something shorter that she could use instead.

Well, as it happened, I did. "Hope Eyrie" is a wonderful song, but by 1980, I was thoroughly frustrated with the state of our space program and getting tired of listening to us congratulate ourselves on an achievement that we'd turned our back on. And so I wrote this song.

It is now the composition of mine that has been most frequently quoted, having appeared on "Minus Ten" and "To Touch the Stars".


C           Am              G                 E
Once upon a time, you could hear the Saturn’s roar
      F             G             Am
As it rose upon its fiery tail to space.
    C           Am        G                E
And once upon a time, the men that we sent out
F           G                 Am
Landed in a strange and alien place.
    G    E            F
And as I watched them walk upon the moon,
C            Am          G        E            Am
I remembered Icarus, who flew too close to the sun.

Once upon a time, they tore the gantries down
And the rockets flew no longer to the moon.
And once upon a time, we swore that we’d return,
But it doesn’t look like we’ll be back there soon.
And as the moon shines down on the shattered launching ground,
I remember Apollo, who drove the chariot of the sun.

      G             C                 Am
And I wonder of the legends they will tell
  G        E          Am
A thousand years from now.