Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan , or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,
For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born, Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.
We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince, Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one’s seen him since.
We danced to ‘Little Darlin,’ and sang to ‘Stagger Lee’
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.
And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me,Me.
We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice.
We didn’t have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three, Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me.
Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.
We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn’t talk yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me. We had our share of heroes, we never thought they’d go, At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We’d never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead, And Airplanes weren’t named Jefferson , and Zeppelins were not Led. And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees, Madonna was Mary in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We’d never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars.
And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and ‘gay’ meant fancy-free, And dorms were never co-Ed in the Land That Made Me, Me. We hadn’t seen enough of jets to talk about the lag, And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.
And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea, And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me.
T-Birds came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks, And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.
And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee, And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had no Crest with Fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues, We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea Or prime-time ads for those dysfunctions in the Land That Made Me,Me.
There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill.
And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three,
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me.
But all things have a season, or so we’ve heard them say, And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A. They send us invitations to join AARP,
We’ve come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me. So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans, And wonder why they’re using smaller print in magazines. And we tell our children’s children of the way it used to be, Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.
My eldest daughter, who is 37, always says she was born in the wrong era. She says she wants to live in the 40’s and 50’s and raise her children then. I think she is serious. The rat race of what happens when school begins has her thinking of homeschooling. I don’t know if she will eventually decide this. She is trying to live in a world where there isn’t enough time to let the kids play a pick-up game of baseball on the empty lot down the street. So, she is making strides to balance life out and make hard decisions that are not popular with her own peer group. Of course there are many good things about today! There are just a few more challenges in raising children safely and guaranteeing their spirit to have imagination, playful times (not organized) and experience a warm home of homemade cookies and eating dinner with daddy and mommy at the table every night.
Thanks Karen for commenting. Your daughter sounds like a wise woman.
I hit every button coming down the page, so if something weird turns up it was probably me. The poem is a little sad, reminding me of how change tends to eradicate all in its path. Dianne
I didn’t mean to make anyone sad…. because even though the 50’s didn’t have all the “stuff” mentioned in the poem, some of that stuff made the world a better place! “To every thing there is a season”. I have always embraced change, I think there is something good in all changes, though sometimes we have to look hard and long.
Our children will write their own poem, and I cannot imagine how it will go…. but change is a part of everything. 🙂
I think it’s sad because I see how hard things are for my kids and their friends. They struggle so much, and I don’t see things getting that much better for them.
This kind of made me sad.
See my reply to Dianne…. 🙂
It did seem simpler. Of course, it was before the joys and responsibilities of adulthood had taken over my life. Maybe it wasn’t as simple for my parents’ generation…….one of those questions I wish I had asked.
It’s a great poem – makes me wish I was bringing my children up in a simpler time like that. I’ve been introducing them to the Waltons and Little House on the Prairie in the hopes that they can see that there was life before computers and Facebook. 🙂