Zero Block tells the story of Annie, a person who runs away from an unacceptable home life, and finds herself living on the streets of Vancouver. The Zero Block of Hastings street is where this vignette opens and where it closes. It is a place where Street People find community and acceptance in the centre of the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Annie wishes for a better life in her dreams but awakens each day to something most people would think nightmarish.

Lyrics

Zero Block
Words and music written by Ross Gordon Cambrin
©2020 Ross Gordon Cambrin

On a road where east-west meet lies the Zero Block of Hastings Street.
Annie, all alone, found a place to call her own.
People come and people go, come to score and say hello.
“Hey man, what you got? Can I bum a smoke? Let’s talk of better days.”

Little Annie stands by a light that’s flickering,
On a savage roadway, where the Zero Block begins.
The city moves as the sun begins to rise,
While in her dreams stands a hero by her side,
And every day she wakes again to realize,
That the sirens of the street is all she hears.

So young, so confused, ran away from being used.
Stands tall still erect, can’t escape what’s in her head.
Venders, they puff and shout, greedy eyes from years without.
Little Annie makes her play, takes a bow but nothing comes her way.

In the alley ways, the tranny people stride.
A boulevard where the girls can come alive.
It’s still the Zero Block but it’s just the other side.
If you see them it’s polite to say hello.

It’s a cloudburst now, the sky comes down,
The rain erupts and melts this town,
While Pinky says lets split this scene,
Cause somewhere else the grass is green.
Well the waters rise, flow like the tide.
They slip and slide and run inside.
Where Annie stood, her shadow stays,
Night can’t remove the Zero Block Parade.

Little Annie stands by a light that’s flickering,
On a savage roadway, where the Zero Block begins.
The city moves as the sun begins to rise,
While in her dreams stands a hero by her side,
And every day she wakes again to realize,
That the sirens of the street is all she hears.