AGE OF GRACE
Words & Music - Phil Garland
© Kiwi Music
When the early settlers landed on Port Coopers shores
And struggled up the Bridle Path to see what lay in store.
They looked down on tussock grassland where flax and cabbage tree
Would give way to build St. Albans on the plains of Canterbury.
Soon market gardens blossomed and flourished all around,
St. Albans farm would occupy the best remaining ground.
A few gardens are still thriving at the end of Cranford Street,
Where people rode the trams to save their weary feet.
It seems an age of grace has quietly passed us by,
Memories fade, time marches on, leaving the past behind.
The Rag'n'bone and Bottle'O once called to every door,
Like the Milko and his Dandy, they've gone for ever more.
Who'll forget old Ice-Cream Charlie, it seems just yesterday,
When he walked city streets trying to earn a living wage.
Children used to follow as he pushed his cart along,
Called him names and teased him with rhyming verse and song.
Lighters lit the gas-lamps when darkness dimmed the sky,
Hoof beats broke the silence as hansom cabs passed by.
Night owls kept a lookout perched high up in the trees,
Watched the night-cart make it's rounds while St Albans lay asleep.
The Rising Sun hotel gained notoriety and fame,
For serving liquor after hours, it became a house of shame.
Renamed the Caledonian, those memories would fade,
Just like the good-time girls who once plied their nightly trade,
The character that helped to define old Christchurch town,
Stands out in latticed gables and dormers that abound.
While old cottages and homesteads we pass by every day,
Are the visible reminders of a golden bygone age.....