From the February 2003 Idaho Observer:

The Box

by John Denver (1971)

Once upon a time, in the land of Hushabye,

Round about the wondrous days of yore.

They came across a sort 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 all with a flourish and a shout,

and a gaily colored mascot tripping lightly on the fore,

“Don't fiddle with this 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,

'cause they were quiet and sweet and pretty in those wondrous days of yore.

Well... very much the same as now, and 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,

with flags and all the tears and horror that goes with war.

It bounced right out and went bashing all about,

and bumping into everything in store.

And what was sad and most unfair is 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 everyday... 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.

I'm absolutely sure that we could 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, thats the way it all appears,

cause it's been bouncing round for years and years

in spite of all the wisdom wizzed since those wondrous days of yore.

And the time they came upon The Box, bound up with chains and locked with locks...and labeled

“Kindly Do Not Touch, It's War.”

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