Works in the Herald 1934

What are nearly the last of Melbourne's old cable-trams are to be scrapped when, in the near future, the Elizabeth Street-Sydney Road service is electrified.

Now a sad farewell to the cable-tram,
   Staunch friend of the quieter days,
That glided down thro' a leisured town
   Ere the urge for speed was a craze.
We'd time to spare and we took the air
   On a sociable seat outside --
Calm charioteers of those peaceful years
   When "the trams" were a city's pride.

Clash!  Clang!  The twin bells rang,
   And the grip went smoothly in.
Then we floated along to a muted song
   And a dearth of hustle and din.
Untouched by the need for racketting speed
   That frazzles the moderns' nerves,
Scarce heeding at all the warning call:
   "Sit tight!  Hold on at the curve!"
Unhurried, serene, we viewed the scene,
   Or chatted with Charlie or Sam.
Oh, in spite of the rage of a jazz-mad age,
   I'm still for the cable-tram, I am,
   The jolly old cable-tram.  

But they're rooting them out, the cable-trams,
   Like all earth's pleasanter things;
To oblivion brought by a Juggernaut
   That needs no leading strings
And they'll serve when dead, for a shelter shed
   By some shrill suburban road.
Or a garden "nook," unbelievably crook,
   At a philistine's abode. 

Clash!  Clang! . . . How the breezes sang
   On a sunny Sabbath Day.
And away we go with Fanny or Flo
   For a tram trip down the Bay.
"What O!  There's class!"  Proud ponies pass
   With their shining jinkers there,
And joy's complete, we've a front-row seat,
   And the sea-wind's in our hair.
And never a car snorts by to mar
   That peace with its swank and sham.
You may keep your noise and your clattering toys!
   I'm for the cable-tram, I am!
   Idyllic old cable-tram.

Herald, 22 June 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-06