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Box Lyrics

Artist: John Denver
Album: Poems Prayers And Promises

Once upon a time, in the land of hush-a-bye, around about the wondrous days of yore, they came across a kind of box, bound up with chains and locked with locks and labeled "Kindly do not touch it's war."
A decree was issued round about, and all with a flourish and a shout and a gaily-colored mascot tripping lightly on before. Don't fiddle with this deadly box, or break the chains, or pick the locks. And please don't ever play about with war.
Well, the children understood. Children happen to be good and they were just as good around the time of yore. They didn't try to pick the locks or break into that deadly box. They never tried to play about with war. Mommies didn't either, sisters, aunts, grannies neither. They were quiet, and sweet, and pretty in those wondrous days of yore. Well, very much the same as now, not the ones to blame somehow for opening up that deadly box of war.
But someone did. Someone battered in the lid and spilled the insides out across the floor. A sort of bouncy, bumpy ball made up of guns and flags and all the tears, and horror, and death that comes with war. It bounced right out and went bashing all about, bumping into everything in store. And what was sad and most unfair was that it didn't really seem to care much who it bumped, or why, or what, or for.
It bumped the children mainly. And I'll tell you this quite plainly, it bumps them every day and more, and more, and leaves them dead, and burned, and dying, thousands of them sick and crying. Cause when it bumps, it's really very sore.
Now there's a way to stop the ball. It isn't difficult at all. All it takes is wisdom, and I'm absolutely sure that we can get it back into the box, and bind the chains, and lock the locks. But no one seems to want to save the children anymore.
Well, that's the way it all appears, cause it's been bouncing round for years and years. In spite of all the wisdom €˜wiz since those wondrous days of yore and the time they came across the box, bound up with chains and locked with locks, and labeled "Kindly do not touch, it's war."
Comments/Interpretations
by Judy Van-Ruggles on 5/19/2008 7:24pm
This is my all time favorite poem to read aloud to groups who are concerned about death, dying and losing our young men and women in wars of today and yesteryear. What a sad waste of time, effort and youth. The BOX is a mental treasure and written by a very well gifted and though provoking person. I Thank that person.
by Merlin Sprague on 6/28/2008 1:35pm
Too bad no one's tried to make a video of this.
by Karen Moran on 7/2/2008 9:57am
For some reason, this poem came to mind this week. I guess with it being an election year and the importance of war/non war... I remembered this long forgotten poem and the feelings that it illicited during the Vietnam Conflict. It should be recirculated and brought to the forfront again. I agree that it would make a wonderful video!
by Kathie Bauer on 4/17/2010 2:04pm
When I was a kid I used to listen to this poem over and over. I would imagine myself standing along side John Denver at the White House in front of thousands repeating this over and over. Trying to get all to STOP war. This was gosh way back when (ok aging myself) Carter and Ford were Presidents! And Regan.. I have never forgotten one word! I finally found it here!
by Jonathoan James on 11/17/2010 12:22pm
The sad thing is that John Denver spent his life trying to get this message across, sadly dying, way too young, without succeding. His music and words changed my life and I miss him. We never met John but I thank you for all you gave me and the world.


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