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Flash Jack from Gundagai

I've shore at Burrabogie and I've shore at Toganmain
I've shore at Big Willandra and out on the Coleraine
But before the shearing was over I longed to get back again
Shearing for old Tom Patterson on the One Tree Plain

All among the wool boys all among the wool
Keep your blades full boys keep your blades full
I can do a respectable tally myself whenever I like to try
And they know me round the backblocks as Flash Jack from Gundagai

I've shore at Big Willandra and I've shore at Tilberoo
And once I drew my blades boys upon the famed Barcoo
At Cowan Downs and Trida as far as Moulamein
But I was always glad to get back again to the One Tree Plain

I've pinked them with the Wolseleys and I've rushed with B-bows too
And shaved them in the grease boys with the grass seeds showing through
But I never slummed a pen my lads whatever it might contain
When shearing for Old Tom Patterson on the One Tree Plain

I've been whaling up the Lachlan and I've dossed on Cooper's Creek
And once I rung Cudjingie shed and blued it in a week
But when Gabriel blows his trumpet lads I'll catch the morning train
And push for Old Tom Patterson's on the One Tree Plain


Printed in Paterson's Old Bush Songs with the note:

"Wolsleys and B-bows are respectively machines and hand-shears, and 'pinking' means that he had shorn the sheep so closely that the pink skin showed through.... 'I rung Cudgingie shed and blued it in a week' i.e he was the ringer or the fastest shearer of the shed, and he dissipated his earnings in a single week's drunkeness.... 'Whaling up the Lachlan' In the old days there was an army of professional loafers who walked from station to station, ostensively to look for work, but without any idea of accepting it. These nomads often followed up and down certain rivers, and would camp for days and fish for cod in the bends of the river. Hence whaling up the Lachlan".

The song was also published (without attribution) in The Land 4 July 1930.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory