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Was There Once A Time



 Genre: Showtunes

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I wrote the first version of this song after 9/11, having seen the planes crash into the Twin Towers from my apartment window (I lived in downtown Manhattan, 10 blocks away) and after volunteering at Ground Zero for the next week. I then rearranged the song to be incorporated into my latest show I am writing. Here is a simple, straight forward version. Woodwinds and horns played in using my Proteus E-mu synths.

Other songs in my 9/11 series:
I Will Love
Last Call
New Holy Land

(See: Journal from the Streets to read a photographic journal about my 9/11 experiences.)
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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 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?
Song Stats
Hits: 8062
Comments: 18
Fans: 8
Plays: 791
Downloads: 284
Votes: 24
Uploaded: Apr 15, 2004 - 10:13:56 PM
Last Updated: Mar 24, 2010 - 10:11:17 AM Last Played: Apr 23, 2019 - 06:11:21 PM
Song License
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G4; Roland a90ex; EV 757; Roland Super JV 80.
fosod said 5637 days ago (April 16th, 2004)
I don't know. It's hard to comment on a song that is as
powerpacked with meaning and emotion as this. Your
show will be better off, I'm sure, with this song as parcel.---Kind regards,

Check out my latest song called Totally Hoany
kevin_stone said 5637 days ago (April 16th, 2004)
Superb production, you can feel real emotion in this song. It is beautifully crafted.

Check out my latest song called Mary
Studio328 said 5637 days ago (April 16th, 2004)
nicely done
very good song. VERY minor comment: the cymbal
crashes at mid-point seem short and tinny..a
different, fuller sample would better enhance the

Excellent job!
Check out my latest song called Looking Back
Mcboy said 5636 days ago (April 16th, 2004)
well crafted and....
damn......emotion drenched....just what a good play
needs...songs with emotion that the audience can take
with them.....
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
macapa said 5636 days ago (April 16th, 2004)
A song with a lot of feeling, and a good production. As
always, a pleasure listening to your creations, Tobin.---
Thierry Daigneault
XVERION said 5636 days ago (April 16th, 2004)
Great song
This was just wonderful, one of your best!
Check out my latest song called The Weekday Nightly Ritual-Us(short version)
TobinMueller said 5636 days ago (April 16th, 2004)
Great song
Thank you, guys. It was such a time, following 9/11 in Manhattan, it is hard
separating those emotions from this song. Your warmth means a great deal.
Thanks for listening. I have more I wrote during that autumn, and because of
your wonderful comments, I will post them soon.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
morrie said 5631 days ago (April 21st, 2004)
You humble all of us with this song. Garageband has wonderful loops, but no
combination of loops, no matter how clever, can compare to the feelings that
come from a song like this.


Check out my latest song called Just Be Calm
casbahp said 5625 days ago (April 27th, 2004)
A great song!
Thoroughly enjoyed this-both the song and the
them and the lyrics! Bravo!
tarki said 5624 days ago (April 29th, 2004)
starting like john lennons imagine and vocals is very cut for me one word one high breath voice one word one high breath voice, maybe mind is good but very slow for me but however I cong. you couse you dont use apple loops...---hi.
Check out my latest song called bassbass
TobinMueller said 5318 days ago (February 28th, 2005)
I was actually thinking of that song when I began to write these lyrics. Good
catch. ESP ears.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
penguinsocks said 5588 days ago (June 4th, 2004)
i'm so glad that you've channeled all your emotions and
experiences into songs - really amazing songs!
your voice is stunning in this one. lots of power.
very moving.
and, as always, a very intriguing choice of artwork. is this
vladimir kush recent or 1930's surrealist?
Check out my latest song called reel me softly in the shade
TobinMueller said 5491 days ago (September 9th, 2004)
Kush is alive today in Moscow. In the prime of life.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
thetiler said 5396 days ago (December 12th, 2004)
Nice song (lots of feeling)!!
Nice song! You sure put a lot of feeling into it.
I can tell alot of work was put into it.
Thanks for sharing.

Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
EdensEve said 5266 days ago (April 22nd, 2005)
What a series of songs!
Breathtaking, heartbreaking lyrics. A work of genius.
SmokeyVW said 3755 days ago (June 10th, 2009)
tears to my eyes
five years later - and still this is a very powerful song

this is timeless, even though the catalyst is fading away into the past

brings tears to my eyes

Check out my latest song called Farther
TobinMueller said 3755 days ago (June 11th, 2009)
I wrote 4 pieces after 9/11, mostly becuz I couldn't move my brain from the event. Every day I would look into the whole in the sky (I used to see the Towers from my bedroom window and used it to orient myself when coming out of the subway). The other songs can be found in the list linked from my song description above. Yes, the event now serves as one moment of loss among many, folding into that space where all loss pricks and weighs.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
jdholliday said 3469 days ago (March 23rd, 2010)
Check out my latest song called Please Help, Pride of NYC needs tracks!
Artist Info
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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