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The Box Lyrics

Artist: John Denver
Album: Poems Prayers & Promises

This poem was first released on the Poems, Prayers and Promises album. It is the only album it has been released on.

Once upon a time in the land of hushabye
Around about the wondrous days of yaw
I came across a sort of box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labelled kindly do not touch, its war

Decree was issued round about
All with a flourish and a shout
And a gaily coloured mascot tripping lightly on before
Dont fiddle with this deadly box or break the chains or pick the locks
And please, dont ever play about with war

Well, the children understood
Children happen to be good
They were just as good around the time of yaw
They didnt try to pick the locks, or break into that deadly box
They never tried to play about with war

Mummies didnt either
Sisters, aunts, grannies neither
Cause they were quiet and sweet and pretty in those wondrous days of yaw
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 the death that goes with war

It bounced right out
And went bashing all about
And bumping into everything and stored
And what was sad and most unfair is that it didnt seem to care who much it bumped
Or why, or what, or for

It bumped the children mainly
And Ill 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, its really very sore

Now theres a way to stop the ball
It isnt difficult at all
All it takes is wisdom, Im absolutely sure that we could get it back into the box
And buy the chains and lock the locks
No one seems to want to save the children any more

Well, thats the way it all appears
Cause its been bouncing round for years and years
In spite of all the wisdom wiz since those wondrous days of yaw
And the time they came across the box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labelled kindly do not touch, its war

Words by Lascelles


by Kier Skipper on 6/11/2008 9:54pm
"Yore", not yaw.
"Mommies", not mummies.
"for"they were quiet, not 'cause'.
"in store", not and stored.
"for" when it bumps, not 'cause'.
"bind", not buy the chains.
"wisdom wizzed", not wiz
by on 11/15/2008 10:47am
Your lyrics suck ... more errors than the national budget
by Wilson on 12/17/2008 7:16am
Skipper is correct on all points.
by George on 2/3/2009 2:07pm
"UR" referrs to a babylonia myth, so it is not "yore" or "Yaw". I also believe that "A creed was issued" not Decree. Other than that I agree with the corrections of Skipper.
by Steelman on 11/1/2009 3:08am
No, it's "yore".
Definitely "yore".
And "bind the chains".
Skipper's correct.
by Shannon on 11/7/2009 6:20pm
Since I own this album - as in vinyl - The liner notes say yor. No E. Everyone else's corrections are correct and, easy on the guy who posted it. Geez... Have you ever spent forever on the lyrics, just sure you had it right? Hell, I'm STILL working on a Boz Skaggs song. ACK! "Tomorrow Never Came"
by Frank on 6/28/2010 8:55pm
I believe it's: "They came across a sort of box"
Not: "I came across a sort of box"
by bigman on 10/22/2010 9:44pm
Its not box its sox
by ruthiemum on 11/11/2010 1:18pm
I say this poem every Rememberance Day...just said it, off by heart too I must say...
by Dallas on 12/23/2010 11:37am
Frank is right, "They" is the word.

John Denver read this on his
"Poems, Prayers, and Promises" album, 1971. This tome was written by a genius somewhere. They deserve to be happy.
by Graham on 12/27/2010 3:04am
It is yore - look it up with an 'e' The album notes are incorrect - wouldn't be the first time an album had a spelling mistake. Oh and for those who seek to criticise - a man who never made a mistake never made anything
by person on 3/10/2012 9:37am
by Bill on 5/22/2012 6:50pm
Does it really matter if the lyrics are a tad off...we all came here because we were intrigued by a poem.. I think the message got across-ed... :)
by Michelle on 5/29/2012 10:37am
Hmm-looks like we have a war going on right here-thus, the ball.
by bill on 12/18/2013 5:25pm
a wise and beautiful piece of wisdom - so we argue about it. I am sure john Denver would be pleased.

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