Somewhere in Sydney (1976)

Loss of a girlfriend prompted this song by Melbourne band Skyhooks:

Somewhere in Sydney there’s a lady so pretty
When she crosses the harbour she’s the queen of the city
Somewhere in Sydney there’s a lady so sweet
She hides her tattoo when she’s out on the streets

Well it might look like Monaco
But it sure ain’t Greece
They gave us Sin City on a million year lease
Ten miles outta Sydney
On Freeway Five
The radio’s playin’ just as fast as you drive

Somewhere in Sydney up on Bellevue Hill
There’s gay boy with a new toy
Movin’ in for the kill
Somewhere in Sydney there’s a boy with a hit
Who’s shakin’ the city and he just won’t quit

Well it might look like Monaco
But it sure ain’t Greece
They gave us Sin City on a million year lease
Ten miles outta Sydney on Freeway Five
The radio’s playin’ just as fast as you drive

Sydney sweet Sydney I love your red roofs
And I’m spending all my money in your telephone booths
So many people, so many types
So much truth, and so much hype

I get anonymous letters from the North Shore
They don’t read like hard core
Name droppers on the road from my hometown
Bein’ around just to be around

And there ain’t no rats in them high rise flats
Where the clouds float by my window
And the sounds on the street are so discreet
And they’re all in their own special lingo

Greg Macainsh, Australian, b. 1952(?)

Rennie Ellis, Bicentennial Fashion Show - Sydney Opera House [1988](State Library of Victoria)

Rennie Ellis, Bicentennial Fashion Show – Sydney Opera House [1988](State Library of Victoria)

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Sydney-Side (1898)

Henry Lawson returns to Sydney by boat:

Where’s the steward? – Bar-room steward? Berth? Oh, any berth will do –
I have left a three-pound billet just to come along with you.
Brighter shines the Star of Rovers on a world that’s growing wide,
But I think I’d give a kingdom for a glimpse of Sydney-Side.

Run of rocky shelves at sunrise, with their base on ocean’s bed;
Homes of Coogee, homes of Bondi, and the lighthouse on South Head.
For in loneliness and hardship – and with just a touch of pride –
Has my heart been taught to whisper, ‘You belong to Sydney-Side.’

Oh, there never dawned a morning, in the long and lonely days,
But I thought I saw the ferries streaming out across the bays –
And as fresh and fair in fancy did the picture rise again
As the sunrise flushed the city from Woollahra to Balmain:

And the sunny water frothing round the liners black and red,
And the coastal schooners working by the loom of Bradley’s Head;
And the whistles and the sirens that re-echo far and wide –
All the life and light and beauty that belong to Sydney-Side.

And the dreary cloud-line never veiled the end of one day more,
But the city set in jewels rose before me from ‘The Shore.’
Round the sea-world shine the beacons of a thousand ports o’ call,
But the harbour-lights of Sydney are the grandest of them all!

Toiling out beyond Coolgardie – heart and back and spirit broke,
Where the Rover’s Star gleams redly in the desert by the ‘soak’ –
But says one mate to the other, ‘Brace your lip and do not fret,
We will laugh on trains and ‘buses – Sydney’s in the same place yet.’

Working in the South in winter, to the waist in dripping fern,
Where the local spirit hungers for each ‘saxpence’ that we earn,
We can stand it for a season, for our world is growing wide,
And they all are friends and strangers who belong to Sydney-Side.

‘T’other-siders! T’other-siders!’ Yet we wake the dusty dead;
It is we that send the backward province fifty years ahead;
We it is that ‘trim’ Australia – making narrow country wide –
Yet we’re always T’other-siders till we sail for Sydney-side.

–Henry Lawson, Australian, 1867-1922.

Arthur Streeton – Cremorne Pastoral, 1895. (Art Gallery of NSW)

Arthur Streeton – Cremorne Pastoral, 1895. (Art Gallery of NSW)