Graham Reid | | <1 min read
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.