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The Avondale Poets
Phoebe Mabel McLachlan-Crowe


Sydney, My Love

This poem had been inspired after an outing to the Sydney Opera House during Winter of 1974. (The Sydney Opera House had been opened in October 1973). The writer died in March 1975. The outing stimulated memories of  "the Sydney of the late 1920s". The time when the composer was young. She wrote the poem mid 1974. Thus the poem is a salute to the Sydney of that era ...Sydney, the capital city, of the state of New South Wales  (NSW)  Australia.

Oh Sydney, how I loved you
In the days when life was fun.
Oh Sydney, how I loved you
Now life is almost done.
"Boronia, Brown Boronia",
At the corner of the street.
A woman sold her posies
Exuding perfume sweet.

Sometimes the cry of  "Vi'lets",
Halted our hurrying feet;
Made us all forget a while
The city's noise & heat.
We pinned the posies on our shoulders
No bosoms then you know.
We left them to our olders.
Then went off to a  "Show".

'Twas ninepence worth of "hang over"
Dropping peanuts shells below
Upon the heads of "betters"
Sitting down there ... row on row.
We used to cheer our favourites
And offer  "Good Advice"
To those we did not fancy 
We were not very nice.

And how we used to window shop
Outside Farmers' & Bebarfalds'
Where we always had to stop
Whate'er the shops were called.
Those waffles too ... at Hilliers
They were our Friday treat.
We slathered syrup on them
To make them extra sweet.

Our shopping days were wonderful
With clothes the great attraction.
The many hats we tried on
Driving to distraction
The sales' girls, for the days were hot
They hated needless action.
When on we went 'round to try again
Can you imagine their reaction?

We had no fear of calories
The "Charleston" kept us slender.
Those nights were filled with music
Oft' times with lovers tender.
We dreamed our dreams
That sometimes came true.
We went the way we had to go
Made memories mixed with rue.

Twice twenty years & more are gone
I window shop no longer.
The big crowd gently moves me on
They will not let me linger.
Gone the basketful of Springtime
The posies gathered, dead.
The music changed the lovers gone
Altered the words once said.

I think of when in my prime
What merry times we had
We preened ourselves a little bit
Our fun times could be  "mad"
That basketful of Springtime
Perfume in memory shed.
I remember all those friends of mine
And bow a tinted head.

I lift my head. I smile again
For looking past her splendour,
Sydney always will remain
The Sydney I remember ...
Garish ... maybe? Lusty? Brave?
Laughing? Tough? ... True?
I don't forget the fun you gave
Sydney, how I love you.

Oh Sydney, how I loved you
In the days when life was fun.
Oh Sydney, how I loved you
Now life is almost done.
"Boronia, Brown Boronia,
At the corner of the street.
A woman sold her posies
Exuding perfume sweet. 

Written @ Tahmoor NSW, during the southern hemisphere winter
of the year 1974, by -
Phoebe Mabel McLachlan-Crowe
born Metz near Armidale NSW Australia in 1898
died Camden NSW Australia in 1975


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