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The Senator from Elfland's Daughter

Words © 1991 Michael Rubin
Tune: original sort-of-Irish-reel, like "Starship Unity" with two extra syllables. Isoscan index: there's not much in iambic octameter except "Modern Major General" but it'll also fit any tune in tetrameter, e.g. "Greensleeves."


The Senator from Elfland's daughter came a-crying home from school.
"Oh Daddy, they tell lies in English class and take me for a fool;
Though Mommy's an elected representative of our good state
The teacher says that faery folk are ruled by kings and queens and fate.

"She had us read from Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Misty Lackey, and Lord Dunsany,
The classics of the classics that define the realms of fantasy --
The twilight lands are monarchies, run by a lady or a lord
But the evidence that we are here is just too great to be ignored.

"We gave the Greeks democracy; we're quite egalitarian.
The dwarvish corporations are anarcho-libertarian
And Trollheim's got a general (his army should drown in the sea)
But we haven't had a king here since about three hundred six B.C.

"I know that they can't see us, so we pass quite well as human folk.
But this is near to slander; do the mortals take it for a joke?
We sleep with wolves in comic books, we work for Keebler on TV,
And grown-up authors make us throwbacks to the 14th Century!"

Her dad said, "They can see us if they're poets or they ought to be;
Not in plain sight but as a dream, and mixed with what they want to see.
Because we're ageless humans think we're from their mythic golden age
When maids were fair and knights were bold and didn't have to earn a wage.

"And by the way, Bill Shakespeare told me when I was a younger lad,
'The Queen and King are just idealized versions of one's Mom and Dad.'
Or was it Sigmund Freud? Oh well. Calm down and let the humans be;
And do your book report on Joseph Campbell and mythology."

But at that point her mom came in complaining loud and bitterly,
"We've voted the Official Secrets Act for one more century!
It's all the right-wing's fault -- they hide their fear of men by looking tough."
The Senator from Elfland's daughter said, "I think I've heard enough."

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Last updated: Wed, 31 Dec 1969, 04:00 PM EST