A Universal Sadness deep inside my soul

I was walking in Jamieson Park in Narrabeen when the words for A Universal Sadness Deep Inside My Soul came to me.  It was 1973.  I had just escaped from Spain with my son, Alex and was working at Fleets Tennis Shop in the city.  It was a poem to start off with but later on the music came to me and it became a song.

All three verses were written about things which I had actually seen.

I used to go and play in the Badge tennis competition at White City on Saturday afternoons and on the way back was when I used to see all the mostly men in a very bedraggled state, sitting on the steps of empty houses in Paddington, already well underway in the drinks department.

At lunch time I would sometimes walk up to Hyde Park and that was where the old man who wheeled his barrow up and down the streets of town would hang out during the lunch hour. I can still see him in my mind’s eye – his long tattered coat, his rounded shoulders, as he shuffled along pushing his barrow filled with his worldly possessions.

Kings Cross was full of American Soldiers on leave from the Vietnam War in that era, so business was brisk for prostitutes.  They used to stand in their doorways or walk up and down dressed in miniskirts and revealing tops, perched atop very high heels.  Some of them were very young and I could see they were affected by drugs.



I feel a universal sadness deep inside my soul

For hopes and dreams they must have had

As they sit there in the cold

Their sad and lonely faces

Attached to ragged forms

On steps of empty houses

Drinking booze all night long



The families they must once have had

And lost along the way

The friends they’ve had all now long gone

And living far away


The man who wheels the barrow

Around the streets of town

With all his world tied atop

He goes up the street and down

At night he sleeps in the park

On a bench made of stone

Warmed by the metho in his gut

He’s far away from home



The family he must once have had

All lost along the way

The friends he’s had all now long gone

And living far away


And there’s the working woman

In Kings Cross they’re about

On the streets and in the bars

All night they stand around

They’re young faces show despair

From the death in life they lead

On smack and hash and coke

When it’s love is all they need


Chorus again twice




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Susan Joy Alexander

Susan Alexander is a former tennis champion, successful business woman and a poet.