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"Once upon a time" is a stock phrase that has been used in some form since at least 1380 (according to the Oxford English Dictionary) in storytelling in the English language, and seems to have become a widely accepted convention for opening oral narratives by around 1600. These stories often then end with "... and they all lived happily ever after", or, originally, "happily until their deaths". These are examples of the narrative form, and occur most frequently in the narratives produced for children aged between 6 and 8.

The phrase is particularly prevalent in fairy tales for younger children, where it is almost always the opening line of a tale. It was commonly used in the original translations of the stories of Charles Perrault as a translation for the French il était une fois, and of Hans Christian Andersen as a translation for the Danish "der var engang", and the Brothers Grimm as a translation for the German es war einmal (literally "it was once").
The phrase is also frequently used in oral storytelling, such as retellings of myths, fables, and folklore.
* Don McLean's "American Pie" begins with the phrase 'A long, long time ago...'
* All six of the Star Wars films begin with the phrase 'A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...'
* In the Singaporean comedy series Under One Roof, Moses Lim's character Tan Ah Teck begins his stories with 'Long before your time, in the southern province of China...'
* In the 2010 Edgar Wright film, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the opening scene narrates the words 'Not so long ago, in the mysterious land of Toronto, Canada.'...wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Georgios Topas (TopGeo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4051 W: 94 N: 8454] (38192)
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