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

Bob Dylan: Copper Kettle (1970)

Bob Dylan: Copper Kettle (1970)

When Bob Dylan's 10th album -- the double vinyl Self Portrait -- was released in 1970 it was received with bewlidered or damning reviews, the most notable being Greil Marcus in Rolling Stone who... > Read more

Reverend J.M. Gates: Hitler and Hell (1941)

Reverend J.M. Gates: Hitler and Hell (1941)

The Rev Gates (b 1884) was preacher-cum-gospel singer whose style was often call-and-response in the manner of Baptist churches. He worked out of Atlanta and aside from sermonising he was a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone: Etiquette (2006)

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone: Etiquette (2006)

If nothing else, you had to raise a smile at the nom-de-disque which American singer-songwriter Owen Ashworth adopted. It announces its lo-fi quality, and identifies its audience at the same time.... > Read more

LOST IN SHANGRI-LA by MITCHELL ZUCKOFF

LOST IN SHANGRI-LA by MITCHELL ZUCKOFF

As with many of his generation, American president Franklin D. Roosevelt had been taken by the idea of “Shangri-La”, that tolerant refuge from a troubled world James Hilton had... > Read more