Bye, Bye to Monochrome UIs …

In recognition of what’s to come …

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that black screen used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make that cursor dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while

But colour displays they made me shiver
With every app I’d deliver
Bad news on the ‘Net chats
I couldn’t sell more DOS apps

I can’t remember if I feared
When I read about this message clear
But something touched me deep inside
The day monochrome died

So bye, bye, to monochrome UIs
Took my green screen to the market but the interest was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Did you write the book of code
And do you have faith in monochrome
If MRP tells you so?
Now do you believe in best of breed?
Can GUI save your efficiency?
And can you teach me how to colour scheme?

Well, I know that you’re in love with new
‘Cause I saw you were mesmerized too
Sat and kicked off your shoes
Man, you dig those yellows and blues

I was a lonely teenage hacker, mate
With a fifty six six and an X-8-8
But I knew I was out of luck
The day monochrome died

I started singing bye, bye, to monochrome UIs
Took my green screen to the market but the interest was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Now for decades we’ve been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone
But that’s not how it used to be
When the hacker wrote for the king of blue
Coding up screens for MRP-2
For a dream that came from me and you

Oh, but while the king was looking down
VGA stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned

And while Heilmeier read a book on Crookes
Tang and Slyke wrote a new cook-book
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day monochrome died

We started singing bye, bye, to monochrome UIs
Took my green screen to the market but the interest was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Helter skelter in a summer swelter
Xerox flew without a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and falling fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast

Now the halftime air was sweet perfume
While Three Rivers played a marching tune
We all got up to buy
Oh, but the system did not fly

‘Cause old Xerox tried to take the field
Apple Lisa refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day monochrome died

We started singing bye, bye, to monochrome UIs
Took my green screen to the market but the interest was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
‘Cause fire is the devil’s only friend

Oh, as I watched ERP on stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan’s spell

And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day monochrome died

He was singing bye, bye, to monochrome UIs
Took my green screen to the market but the interest was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

I met a girl who coded Shell
And I asked her for some happy tell
But she just smiled and turned away
I logged in to the BBS
Where I’d learned the code and to transgress
But the admin said we’re now dispossessed

And in the streets, the children screamed
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
CRTs were all broken

And the three men I admire most
Wozniak, Moore and Tim Berners Lee
They caught the last train for the coast
The day monochrome died

And they were singing bye, bye, to monochrome UIs
Took my green screen to the market but the interest was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

Yes they were singing bye, bye, to monochrome UIs
Took my green screen to the market but the interest was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey ‘n rye
And singin’ this’ll be the day that I die

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