Author's Note: I first heard the original version of "Once Upon A Time" (arranged for choir) on my MP3, and it brought tears to my eyes. This Charles Strouse/Lee Adams tune, featured in the musical All American, gave me an idea to parody it in a way to promote historic preservation worldwide. Even though I own neither the original tune nor the haunting arrangement, I own the idea of an old man who played Professor Fodorski (the character from the musical of the original song), myself, the people in a small town, and an anonymous high school choir singing the latter. The MP3 of the choral arrangement that I owned in my computer was sung by Muskegon High School's chorus, nestled in the Michigan town where the school was named.

(WKF walks into a remote town in the northeastern US. She sees an old man taking a walk in the early evening.)

Old Man: Hmm…this Wal-Mart used to be my father's home; oh, it was permanently replaced by such a shopping mall!

WKF: What's the matter, sir?

Old Man: My father's house was replaced by a shopping center, and it broke my heart to see it go.

WKF: That reminded me of a public service announcement about historic preservation, which was made by the Ad Council and the National Trust of Historic Preservation. What else is destroyed?

Old Man: The Palace Theatre is going to be demolished in three months. I wish they could restore this place where I played Professor Fodorski in the production of All American with my high school.

WKF: Do you mean that this theater will be "once upon a time," as Charles Strouse and Lee Adams expressed it in that musical?

Old Man: Yes, my girl. Speaking of "once upon a time," (piano starts playing) I got something somber to say.

WKF: What is your comment? (high school chorus do vocal ad lib) What do you want to tell me?

Old Man (singing): Once upon a time,

A house with his'try in its doors,

Happiness in mine,

Whose mem'ries comes and grows,

But that was once upon a time,

Very long ago…

(WKF and the old man transports to an apartment building, which was the site of a former church. A choir from an unnamed high school enters.)

Old Man (spoken): This used to be a church, girl.

WKF: (sighs, then sings) Once upon a church,

High School Choir: Once upon a church,

WKF: We sat beneath the altar vaults,

High School Choir: Counting all the pews in old-time Sunday dawn,

WKF: But that was once upon a time,

Old Man: Once upon a time,

WKF and Old Man: Now our church is gone…

(WKF, the high school choir, and the old man transports to a main street, with very few vintage shops.)

High School Choir's Boys and Old Man: How the streets lined with little shops,

How we always laughed as though old pastimes never stop,

High School Choir's Girls and WKF: We were young, with fancy little props,

All: Where did they go?

(All transports to Wal-Mart, with residents of the town.)

Residents: Once upon a time,

This town was sweet…

WKF, Old Man, High School Choir: Sweeter that we knew,

Adult Residents: Sweeter that we knew,

Child Residents: Sweeter that we knew,

All: Let's preserve the past,

For all the hearts of men…

WKF: (spoken) …and women and kids. (sings with the old man and high school choir) So that this once upon a time,

Residents: Once upon a time,

All: Never comes again.

Old Man (spoken): And so, my girl that this…

WKF: Once upon a time,

Old Man (singing): Once upon a time,

Both: Never comes again.

WKF: I think I'll join the National Trust of Historic Preservation.

Old Man: That's an extraordinary plan girl because you'll help preserve the town and other places here in the USA. (song ends)

WKF: Thanks for the pointers. (smiles and bids farewell by waving hand)

Old Man: You're welcome.

(WKF exits the town.)