Friday 6 November 2009

, , , , , , , , ,

Once Upon a Week: Fairy Tale References in Poetry and Music

once upon a week bannerToday is the last day of Once Upon a Week! Unfortunately, because life has been a bit hectic and got in the way, I have been unable to sort out a second fairy tale review for you. However, I'm not just a book fan; I am also a music and poetry fan. So, in place of a review, I have some poetic and musical treats inspired by fairy tales for you all.

First of all, the poem. People who know the original stories of Rumplestiltskin and Rapunzle should get the references in this poem, as well as references of other fairy tales. I studied it during GCSE English several years ago, and it's one that stuck with me. I find it amusing because of it's conversational, modern tone, and subject matter. I haven't missed anything out, this is actually how it starts.

Rapunzstiltskin by Liz Lochhead

& just when our maiden had got
good & used to her isolation,
stopped daily expecting to be rescued,
had come to almost love her tower,
along comes This Prince
with absolutely
all the wrong answers.
Of course she had not been brought up to look for
originality or gingerbread
so at first she was quite undaunted
by his tendency to talk in strung-together cliche.
'Just hang on and we'll get you out of there'
he hollered like a fireman in some sopa opera
when she confided her plight (the old
hag inside etc. & how trapped she was);
well, it was corny but
he did look sort of gorgeous
axe and all.
So there she was, humming & pulling
all the pins out of her chignon,
throwing him all the usual lifelines
till, soon, he was shimmying in & out
every other day as though
he owned the place, bringing her
the sex manuals & skeins of silk
from which she was meant, eventually,
to weave the means of her own escape.
'All very well & good,' she prompted,
'but when exactly?'
She gave him till
well past the bell on the timeclock
She mouthed at him, hinted,
she was keener than a TV quizmaster
that he should get it right.
'I'll do everthing in my power' he intoned, 'but
the impossible (she groaned) might
take a little longer.' He grinned.
She pulled her glasses off.
'All the better
to see you with my dear?' he hazarded.
She screamed, cut of her hair.
'why you're beautiful?' he guessed tentatively.
'No, No, No!' she
shrieked & stamped her foot so
hard it sank six cubits through the floorboards.
'I love you?' he came up with
as finally she tore herself in two.

I really like that poem! It's years since I studied, but if I remember rightly, it's supposed to be a micky take of modern relationships. However, you can google the poem, and various analysis' crop up, so you can get a proper understanding from them if you're interested.

On to the music. Here are two songs that I just LOVE that have been partly inspired by fairy tales in them. The first doesn't have specific references, but you can find them - there are a few. The second, however, has specific references for just a few lines, which you won't be able to miss. Enjoy!

A Walk Through Hell by Say Anything - Unfortunately, I can't find an official video for this song, but click the link and you can listen to the song using the widget at the top and read the lyrics. I LOVE this song!

This Kiss by Faith Hill - Similar situation here. Use the widget on the left. There's a ring tone pop-up, just so you're aware. Close it, and you can continue.

Do you know of any other poems or songs with fairy tale references?

Also, I noticed on a few blogs a few weeks back a few photos that were relevant to Fairy Tale Week. Dina Goldstein has a Fallen Princesses Photographic Project, in which she portrays fairy tale princesses in real life situations, where "The '...happily ever after' is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues". Check them out, they are pretty damn awesome. Not showing the images as I'm adding this to my already created post last minute, and don't have permission. But they are amazing, go take a look!

Sorry for the lack of videos. And a review today. Hope you enjoyed the fairy tale posts here on Once Upon a Bookcase, and on all the other blogs too!

Hope you live happily ever after! ;)


  1. Nice poem! I love fairy tales, though I remember feeling sorry for the little man.

    And, btw, gave you an award over at my blog! :)

  2. Love the poem. I've never come across it before, so thanks for sharing.

  3. Jenn - Cheers! Which little man? Rumplestiltskin? Cheers for the award!

    Lauren - You're welcome! I thought it was quie amusing an quirky when I read it back in Secondary School.

  4. I've never heard this one before...interesting poem though! I really enjoyed the whole Once Upon a Week affair! Hopefully this won't be it's only run! =0)

  5. I think it's such a cool poem!
    I've enjoyed it too, it's been really good! Yup, hopefully it'll come back next year! :)

  6. Ohh, thank you! I shall come check it out now! Cheers! :D