Library Song

Lyrics ©1987 by Gretchen Roper
Music ©1987 by Bill Roper

And here's my very favorite response to "The Wind From Rainbow's End" -- and the first time that Gretchen and I collaborated on a song. Gretchen didn't much like the protagonist in the original song and wrote these lyrics in response, asking me to set them to music. I said, "Sure!"

And promptly forgot them in her dining room. Then she thought that I didn't really want to do it, which was entirely untrue, but I had to talk her into giving me the lyrics to work with. And then it took a while to actually construct the tune, because the first few tunes I came up with were just awful and this needed a tune that was just as complex as "Rainbow's End" while clearly not being the original song, and...

We're both really happy with the way it finally came out. It's been nominated for a Pegasus Award on a couple of occasions, which is also a fine thing.

Gretchen asked me to add the annotations for the song, which you can find here.

     C       Dm         G               C
When I was a child, I'd say just turned six,
    Am             Dm       E           Am
And first numbered reading among my few tricks,
   F         G        C           Am
My father presented a treasure to me:
  F             G          E         Am
A buff piece of paper, two inches by three.
   F           G           C              Am
He called it a passport to worlds new and far,
    F        G         F       C
And thus I acquired my library card.

	     C         F             G       Em
	With Flyball I flew and with Frodo I traveled.
	Dm      G           C        Am
	Phileas Phogg and I sailed a balloon.
	     Fm6                    G           A
	With Christopher Robin I've been up the hillside.
	     F           Dm           G           C
	With Christopher Godfrey I've been to the moon.

A plain red brick building that once housed a store.
Oak tables, gray shelving, but oh, so much more.
Grand castles, deep oceans, strange cities, far stars,
Great journeys, great triumphs, and terrible wars.
Munchkins, and Martians, and mermaids, and mice;
The creatures of fiction were my teachers of life.

	Kip, Peewee, and I learned the value of teamwork.
	A runaway robot proved learning was fun.
	Meg Murray and I learned of love and believing.
	Believe that you're winning, the game is half won.

So now I'm an adult, my dull grown-up head
Finds colors and flavors in the real world instead.
I go back to my old books each now and again
To see the old places and visit old friends.
I can deal with this world with the crises and cranks,
But I still want to stop by, wave hi, and say thanks.

	Dorothy and I'll find that we aren't in Kansas.
	With Alice, I'll walk through the looking-glass wall.
	Sometimes I go back there.  I still find a welcome.
	Perhaps I'm not all that grown-up after all.