Peter Cape: She'll Be Right (1959)

 |   |  <1 min read

Peter Cape: She'll Be Right (1959)

Peter Cape was New Zealand's unofficial poet laureate in the days before television, when men were "jokers" and women were "sheilas" . . . and when you could afford to assume that "she'll be right". (ie no matter what happens, it'll be okay.)

Cape wrote and sang of awkward young men and women at a rural dance (Down the Hall on Saturday Night), of train stops on the line between Auckland and Wellington (Taumaranui on the Main Trunk Line), of coffee bars and farming life.

He sang in the distinctive, if exaggerated, voice of the good Kiwi joker . . . and of course it all sounds terribly unsophisticated these days. But many New Zealanders were back then, in a time when kids all had a free bottle of milk in school, they could run wild in the neighbourhood without fear until after dark and problems were something that belonged to people overseas.

It was the world of beer in a half gallon jar, pavlova for dessert, the half acre paradise . . . and a pie in every sky. 

As it turned out, she wasn't all right. 

Share It

Your Comments

Dee - Apr 12, 2013

This certainly does depict a NZ from a totally different era - the past is another country etc. To my thirty-something modern ears it's actually difficult to listen to this song and not believe it was a parody even then; the accent is definitely exaggerated and it just sounds like he's poking gentle fun at the "she'll be right" mantra and other ways of the day.

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

George Harrison: Ding Dong Ding Dong (1974)

George Harrison: Ding Dong Ding Dong (1974)

When George Harrison released this well produced but lightweight song in December '74 on his album Dark Horse, he held great hopes that it would become a New Year's Eve anthem. He'd actually... > Read more

Hambone Willie Newbern: Roll and Tumble Blues (1929)

Hambone Willie Newbern: Roll and Tumble Blues (1929)

The provenance of some blues songs is so obscure as to be impenetrable. Many would know Rollin' and Tumblin' from the rock version by Cream in the late Sixties where the credits simply had it as... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various: Panama! 2 (Sound Way)

Various: Panama! 2 (Sound Way)

The geographical location of Panama is probably clue enough to second guess the sounds on this collection of late Sixties to late Seventies material: Panama has as its neighbours the Caribbean and... > Read more

Larry Henley: A very rich man indeed.

Larry Henley: A very rich man indeed.

Ray Columbus seldom rang me at the Herald unless he had something to say. I liked him for that, he wasn't a time waster. But once he called and said he had an American friend in town that I might... > Read more