Australian Folk Songs

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The Kings of the Shed

Just plain "loppies" the sheep barbers call us
(When they're friendly disposed or polite),
Or mayhap when they aim to appal us,
With their boasting and lying and skite.
They themselves are, called shearahs--God bless 'em !
Or the "kings" of the shed--what a neck !
So as not to unduly distress 'em
We enable them knock up their cheque.

If those "kings" had to pick up their fleeces ;
When they pulled their machines out of gear,
Then attend to the locks and the pieces,
And the dag's that are shorn from the rear,
Sweep the board till it shamed patent leather,
Be alert with their dab-stick and tar--
All before they pulled out their next wether,
It would let these birds know where they are.

It's just joking to call their job yakker,
But it's done in the interests of peace.
For each sheep-maiming, wool chopping hacker ;
The old engine is shearing the fleece.
But we, from cold May till December,
All the shearing shed toilers have led,
So if crowns must be worn, just remember
That the loppies are kings of the shed.



This verse was published in the NSW squatter's weekly the Land Friday 24 September 1937 p. 19.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory