Curved border of brown dragons.

Unicorn Variations

Lyrics: Maureen S. O'Brien, 1992-8\15-27\1993
Music: tto "The Unicorn Song"
Insp: "Unicorn Variations," Roger Zelazny

Once in a ghost town, away out West,
Martin started playing himself at chess.
So wasn't he surprised on that desert morn
When up to his board stepped a unicorn?
	(And the unicorn said:)
	"You killed the auk and the dodo and the smallpox, too
	So Nature filled those niches with a mythical crew.
	With our help, humans kill yourselves as fast as you're born
	You'll soon be replaced by the unicorns."

(Well) It made Martin nervous, and he lost that game.
But Martin told the unicorn, "Play for funsie's too tame.
Let's make the stakes more int'resting for you and for me;
Let's play for the fate of humanity.
	Just like the auk and the dodo and the smallpox, too
	We're sure to go extinct without the help from you."
	And he got a month between his moves, for sure as you're born,
	A human's never beaten a unicorn.

So Martin hiked up to the woods to study that game,
And stared at his board, full of anger and shame
Till a old sasquatch came up to him for chess talk and beer
And said, "We play chess in our heads up here.
	You got your griffins and kraken and the yeti, too
	Your cockatrice and minisphinx, the mythical crew.
	But we're the best at playing chess, as sure as you're born,
	We give a handicap, playing unicorns."

So Martin played the sasquatch, and studied his moves
And used 'em on that unicorn with nothin' to prove.
And every month the mythic folk came out and got drunk,
And every month the problems of mankind shrunk.
	He got the plagues and the famines, the death and the war,
	A chance to turn to crops and cures, and treaties galore.
	You might say that it wasn't fair, but sure as you're born,
	Martin saved our chess from the unicorns.

So, Martin won a stalemate for mankind and then
Purely for fun, they played each other again.
Well, Martin was calm now; he had nothing to prove;
And he beat that unicorn in thirty-one moves.
	You've heard of young Bobby Fischer, Capablanca too,
	And Garry Kasparov and the rest of that crew
	But when Martin wasn't nervous, he could play 'em to scorn
	'Cause they never played with a unicorn.

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