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Another Fall of Rain

The weather has been sultry for a fortnight now or more
And the shearers have been driving might and main
For some have got the century who ne'er got it before
But now we all are waiting for the rain

For the boss is getting rusty and the ringer's caving in
His bandaged wrist is aching with the pain
And the second man I fear will make it hot for him
Unless we have another fall of rain

Now some had taken quarters and were keeping well in bunk
When we shore the six-tooth wethers from the plain
And if the sheep get harder then a few more men will flunk
Unless we have another fall of rain

Some cockies come here shearing they would fill a little book
About this sad dry weather for the grain
But here is lunch a-coming make way for Dick the cook
Old Dick is nigh as welcome as the rain

But the sky is clouding over and the thunder's muttering loud
And the clouds are sweeping westward o'er the plain
And I see the lightning flashing round the edge of yon black cloud
And I hear the gentle patter of the rain

So, lads, put up your stoppers and let us to the hut
Where we'll gather round and have a friendly game
While some are playing music and some play ante up
And some are gazing outwards at the rain.

But now the rain is over let the pressers spin the screw
Let the teamsters back their wagons in again
We'll block the classer's table by the way we push them through
For everything goes merry since the rain.

So its "Boss bring out the bottle" and we'll wet the final flock
For the shearers here may never meet again
Well some may meet next season and some not even then
And some they will just vanish like the rain

Final Chorus
And the boss he won't be rusty when his sheep they all are shore
And the ringer's wrist won't ache much with the pain
Of pocketing his cheque for a hundred quid or more
And the second man will press him hard again


Also known as 'Waiting for the Rain', John Meredith collected a version of it from wharfie Leo Dixon, who had been a bush worker and shearer and was born at Eugowra. Meredith writes: "The words of this were written by John Neilson of Penola, a bush worker, farmer, and balladist, and the father of Australia's greatest lyricist, John Shaw Neilson".
The last verse in this version was sent me by email and comes from Dave de Hugard"s record "Freedom On The Wallaby"
The tune is the North American song 'Little Log Cabin in the Dell'.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory