Genuine Tram Poem from 1882

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Looks like not everyone was so keen on Sydneys Trams when they first came to town…. This is a genuine poem from the Sydney Punch in 1882, a popular paper at the time.

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That horrible tram

(A Route Residents Refrain)


Oh the tram! The horrible tram!

Butting its way like a bellicose ram!

Floundering through our narrow streets,

Frighting the wits out of all it meets,

Smashing a youngster here and there,

Shaving skulls by breath of a hair!

Snorting wheezing, groaning along,

Its cracked bell tinkling a dismal song;

For all our comfort and safety to damn,

Theres nothing can beat that horrible tram!

Oh the tram! The horrible tram!

With its clash and clatter; crush and cram!

Puffing along at a snail-like pace,

Or running a-muck a frantic race!

Jibbling praps here, and leaving rails there,

Filling the town with a frenzied scare,

Maiming its victims, day after day,

Through Human bodies hewing its way!

Who could contrive a more devilish sham

Than we have in our horrible juggernaut tram?

Once we had streets that were open and free,

No hideous trams filled them, out on the spree;

Once we could cheerily walk out or drive,

With some faint hope of returning home alive!

No visions of limbs all bloody and torn,

Haunted our senses from night until morn:

But comfort, peace, safety, happiness, all,

Are done to death Ëœneath the tram fiends pall!

Hades itself could scarce more our lives dawn,
Than this horrible, bloodthirsty, Juggernaut tram!

Sydney Punch, 23rd September 1882

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