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Was There Once A Time
from If I Could Live Long Enough by Tobin Mueller
Old Clocks
Jump to: LyricsLiner NotesIf I Could Live Long Enough album Click here to download the mp3.

Was there once a time
when the world was young and unafraid
when we sang of wondrous dreams
and were proud of all we made?

Was there once a time
when the world was wide and true and real,
when each word was fresh and free
and each life was held and healed?

Was there once a time when trust was simple?
Was there once a time when hope was joyful?
Was there once a time when lives went on and on and on
and what we knew as love would somehow shield and conquer all?

Was there once a time
when the song came lightly to my lips
and the music danced and played
in a kind of trance kinship?

Once upon that time
if the world breathed heavy on my back
I could find the strength to sing,
I would find a right lyric.

Now it seems that purpose is a gesture,
just a thing that habit helps to capture.
Can I find in memory the future I once knew?
Can I craft a moment into meaning without you?

One year and
one day and
one moment all.

One touch and
one smile and
I hold them all.

When life breathes in
I can feel you there.
When life breathes out again,
you're in the song I sing,
you are the memory of another time.
Once upon a time in time...

Was there once a time like that?

©2001 Tobin Mueller

Liner Notes

Written after 9/11/2001, this song was personal therapy. I needed to learn again how to express myself after falling mute (creatively speaking) for several months following the Twin Tower tragedy. I had a hard to reintegrating myself with the rest of the world. I wrote 4 pieces in November 2001 and this was the final one. (See The September 11 Project - Ten Years Later to hear the others.) After recording it in my apartment, I finally felt ready to begin work on the musical I had been writing before the towers fell.

This song ended up making its way into that show (Runners In A Dream.) In fact, as my collaborator works on the script to it's successor, Someone Else's Sky, I now associate the song with things other than 9/11... growing older, for example.

I recall how just before my Mother died she said how she was just too tired to go on. That the world wasn't a place she felt attached to anymore. I think part of that sentiment is in this song, along with a tired yet true optimism that I hope never leaves me.

If I Could Live Long Enough

Return to the If I Could Live Long Enough page.

Other lyrics pages from If I Could Live Long Enough

  1. If I Could Live Long Enough
  2. Before There Were Gods
  3. Pilgrim Of The Great Return
  4. Was There Once A Time
  5. Forge A New Life
  6. Falling
  7. Turn It Around
  8. When I Sing
  9. A Promise
  10. The Shape Of My Life
  11. When You Awake
  12. When You Awake reprise
  14. You Can't Touch Me
  15. Rock A Baby With Voodoo
  16. Believe
  17. Lucky Boy Blues
  18. Tango
  19. What Is This Touch