CHORUS: Once upon a time ago
though really not so long, you know
A father dear his daughter neared
To ask why she was all in tears
FATHER: Oh daughter dear, I fear, I fear
To know why you are all in tears
Is it because of nightmares dark
Where monsters roam and wyverns hark?
DAUGHTER: Oh Father dear, ’tis none you fear,
No nightmares dark nor monsters here
I simply miss my bedtime tale
But then alas, poor mother’s pale
FATHER: Fear not, my dear! My darling girl,
Your father’s here to make you twirl,
A tale you say is what you want?
Well, listen to your father’s cant!
DAUGHTER: Oh Father dear, I fear, I fear
I shall not be awake to hear
Your tale of fun, excitement too
Because so suddenly I’m pooped.
FATHER: Now, let me see, what have we here —
There’s love would interest you, dear
If you would only settle down
Then we can start our jaunt till dawn!
CHORUS: Oh woe betide the little lass
Her father would not let it pass
He settled her in her small bed
And himself sat beside her head
And thence commenced to spin and weave
And weave and spin — while lassie grieved!
FATHER: Once upon a time ago,
though not so long ago, you know,
perhaps a hundred years or more,
north of the middle and south of north…
DAUGHTER: I wish, dear Father you’d stop all that
It’s getting my brain all muddled up!
FATHER: Patience, my dear, it’s a virtue as well,
More so as it helps this tale I tell:
There lived a young lad, a Montague
Romeo the name to which he grew
There lived nearby a Capulet,
The fairest maiden called Juliet.
CHORUS: And night by night young Romeo hid
In the Capulet’s prickly flower bed
And neath the window lit above
Recited verses to his love
ROMEO: O tender goddess, heaven’s choice
With eyes of wine and an angel’s voice
And features divine for all to view
My love, my love, if only you knew
I’d climb every mountain and ford every sea
Through snowstorms and hailstorms, beside you I’ll be
I’d brave every flame-breathing dragon that lived
My life-blood in battle, to you I shall give
But soft, a light through yonder window breaks!
Now I shall die! While my poor love awakes!
CHORUS: Oh Romeo, Romeo, poor Romeo flees
The minute his love, his Juliet he sees
He dives behind the prickly rose bushes
And fervently there he makes his wishes
And lo and behold! What wonder of wonders!
Who else should appear but his fairy godmother!
Now Romeo being a bashful lad
Was not exactly extremely glad
In fact poor Romeo was quite perturbed
When his reverie by this fairy was rudely disturbed
This fairy, however, was all eager and out
And wanted to help her poor godson about
At last the lad’s mind had settled quite
As his godmother went to setting things right.
FAIRY GODMOTHER: Now Romeo, lad, my godson, heed
You must win your lady with haste, with speed
You must hie hither on your faithful steed
And slay a dragon — oh, of any breed!
You must brave the dragon’s fiery breath
And hack him and slash him to his gruesome death
And when that’s done, why nothing else matters
But to bring his head back on a silver platter!
CHORUS: Now Romeo, poor boy was all distressed,
This fairy was ancient, or haven’t you guessed?
All dragons by then, red, blue and gold
Had all been slain, so the stories told.
ROMEO: Oh godmother dear, a fairy you are
But you must have been sleeping in a magic jar
We could travel for ages and seek far and wide
And never once even see a dragon’s hide
King Arthur’s knights slayed all those beasts
And laid out their heads in their great feasts
I am afraid, godmother dear
In the 17th century no dragons are here.
FAIRY GODMOTHER: Then we must try another plan, young fella,
I’ll bother you to remember poor Cinderella
She found her Prince Charming at a ball
And lost her glass slipper when midnight tolled
If we only could get your darling’s shoe
Then no more at her window would you need to woo
Now just you wait, and sit silent there
While I go and fetch the shoe she wears.
CHORUS: So Romeo sat, in the bushes he stayed
While the kind old fairy, her devious plan played
She hurried off to the Capulet’s ball
And waited for Juliet’s shoe to fall
But fall it didn’t so she had to steal
That pretty shoe from that pretty heel.
With her treasure she rushed to her anxious lad
Who, spying the shoe, was this time quite glad!
This time around, the window beheld
A Romeo beneath, as a shoe he held
And Juliet appeared at her balcony
Thus appeasing a bit his agony
And Juliet cried at the young boy’s sight
But stifled surprise and squealed in delight.
JULIET: My shoe, how did you get hold of it?
I lost it earlier in a two-step beat!
I don’t know you, I think, or maybe I do
Are you my Prince Charming — come to bring back my shoe?
Oh please, say you are my lover true
And I’ll be sworn my love, forever to you!
CHORUS: So Romeo and Juliet did finally meet
And naturally, of course, they were very sweet
Until two women should in the room sail
The Lady Capulet, and the Nurse at her tail
Both elders were certainly horrified
To see a man at Juliet’s side
It was a scandal, then, you know
For a man to see a lady’s toes
The Lady Capulet then declared
War on the Montagues, for all they dared
She bundled the lassie and off she was sent
To the local nunnery, her sins to repent.
Poor Romeo, lad, was again quite distressed
So set after the fairy, her error to redress
With sword unsheathed and in almost a rage
He swore to get even, in petty rampage
The fairy was not in the least bit sore
And in fact offered to help him some more.
FAIRY GODMOTHER: Now Romeo, lad don’t be so rash
If you killed me now, you’d also be trash
Now listen carefully, and try to recall
Snow White, the dwarves, witch, apple and all
Should Juliet have an apple as well
Then she’d be dead for all to tell
ROMEO: Fie, witch! You know that if Juliet died
You would very soon lay at her side!
FAIRY GODMOTHER: Ah, Romeo lad, don’t you remember?
Her death would be but endless slumber
Until her true love, you, should kiss
Her and wake her to unending bliss!
And in their joy, the Capulets
Will let you marry her just yet.
Just let me find that trusty potion
Before your head gets other notions.
CHORUS: And so the fairy gave Juliet
The tainted apple, and so she slept
While all her family did so weep
Not knowing that it was but a deep sleep
And on a dais, in gloomy tomb
They left poor Juliet to her doom
And there young Romeo, with dreams of bliss
Did try to wake her with a kiss and a kiss
And again with a kiss, as a lover true
And again a kiss, till his lips were blue
But never once did she open her eyes
The fairy was wrong again, as you can surmise!
Quite puzzled, the fairy examined her bag
And found that she had mixed up her tags
The potion with which she put Juliet to sleep
Was the recipe for a hundred years’ sleep
Like Princess Aurora, she was doomed to be
Known as another sleeping beauty.
Still, Romeo had not quite lost all hope
With a hundred years he knew he could cope
So brave and willing, he grabbed a flask
And downed the potion, an easy task
The fairy had not the time to complain
Though she tried to stop him, all in vain.
FAIRY GODMOTHER: Oh, Romeo, Romeo, poor godson, my lad
The potion you took, was not what she had
The potion you took came from a Prince
Who has hopped on four feet ever since!
FATHER: Poor Romeo, Romeo, it could be seen
That his skin had turned a froggy green
DAUGHTER: Oh, Father, please let me finish your story
Because, I fear, you’ll turn it all gory.
I know the fairy put Romeo to sleep
For a hundred years, in that tomb so deep
And when Juliet woke with that frog beside her
She kissed it awake, and had Romeo forever!
Oh, Father dear, your story I feared
Was the wildest tale I’ve heard, and weird
But this, for you, I’ll say, though late,
Your imagination is quite great!
CHORUS: So daughter then did sleep at last
While father tucked her in and fast
And getting off her bed, you hear him say
“I liked it too!” then hop away.
© Cindy Lapeña, 2013