Australian Folk Songs

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The Snagger (1928)

(By the Man from Jugiong.)

I was making down the river, seeking some shearing,
Called in at Burrabogie, and there I got a pen.
It was late in July but the weather was clearing,
I was only a snagger, and the slowest of men.

I answered the roll call, secured combs and cutters,
And early next morning they gave us a start.
Off came the golden fleeces, I closed up my shutters
I couldn't hold a candle to the lowest on the chart.

There were some "big guns" that were right on the job,
They made the pace as fast as a furious welter,
Their tallies were stuck up in a bally great mob,
All under two hundred, were on view in the shelter,

Phil Garlic, the drummer, said, "The pace was a sneezer,"
And sent his sheep down the shoot with a smack,
I took magnificent blows from the eater to breezer,
But I couldn't keep up, so I worked for the sack.

I got chipped very often (though I did my very best),
From the men that were "runing the joint,"
Big tallies continued, we cut out the rest,
All the others had pens booked at Darlington Point.

I have shorn in the back blocks, for some of the best,
The late Jim Tyson and old Locky McBean,
And in shed that extended from East to the West.
But the team at Burrabogie were the best I have seen.

The season, however, has come to an end.
The din and clatter has all died away;
And the men have gone on, you may depend,
For many more sheds, that might come their way.

Down where the great, gum trees are growing,
And all the work of nature seems at its best,
Where the Murrumbidgee is constantly flowing,
And the weary old snagger is taking a rest.


From the New South Wales newspaper the Gundagai Independent Thursday 8 November 1928 p. 3.

Also published in the The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser Tuesday 13 November 1928 p. 4.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory