Twisty Passage

This is sort of my own version of Frank Hayes’ “When I Was a Boy” — a nostalgic look at some of the earliest command-line computer games like Adventure/Colossal Caves and Zork, set to Stan Rogers’ “Northwest Passage” by way of Wm. Mark Simmons’ “Goddard Passage.” I wrote this quite a while back and may need to revisit the last verse to include some much newer games than Starship Titanic, The X-Files, and Myst, only one of which has really stood the test of time. Though that last point may also relate to the point of the song, I suppose (but then Sturgeon’s Law applies as well to games as anything else).

Words by Joseph Abbott
Music: “Northwest Passage,” Stan Rogers

Oh, for just one night, I would take the twisty passage
In a maze of little caverns, each one of them alike
Leaving far behind real life’s woes, so dark and savage
And take a twisty passage where I like

In a long-ago computer lab, ’tis there ’twas said to load
The very first Adventure, a maze of mainframe code
The puzzles and the challenges that earned the hackers’ raves
Saying “plugh” amid Colossal Caves


I think on Dimwit Flathead and his Underground Empire
Rich with all its treasures for the home computer buyer
Descending into darkness as the door above you slams
But the flood control just isn’t worth a dam


I’ve flown on the Titanic, I’ve probed into an X-File
I’ve traced the steps of Atrus all across his Mysty isle
But none of them can quite compare to worlds inside my mind
Unfolding from the words upon the line


Yes, a twisty little passage…

(SPOKEN: … it is dark. You are covered in cheese dip.
You are likely to be eaten by a Groo.)

… where I like…

This is the bio am I doing this right? Probably not.

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