Australian Folk Songs
songs | books | records | articles | glossary | links | search | responses | home
I Sing of Garrawilla
I sing of Garrawilla, a station of the glen,
Like a gem among the mountains, the home of gallant men,
I mean the jolly shearers, who there reside in peace,
And send to dear old England,
Australia's golden fleece.
Oh boys, a shearer's life is jolly,
Oh boys, a shearer's life is free,
Oh boys, a shearer's life's a jolly life,
And a shearer's life for me.
Now a shearer's life is not all joy, for weary days they pass,
Thinking of their horses and looking out for grass.
The boss he makes them knuckle down, and if his sheep they scar
Lord help the man that does it if he calls not for tar.
If he would keep his tally up, a shearer cannot slack,
For sheep condemned as badly shorn have raddle down the back;
And wool, it must come cleanly off as all good shearers know,
And if you nick a pizzle, then hump your drum and go.
And when the sheds have all cut out and shearing time is o'er,
The shearer rolls his bluey up and moves along once more.
Some travel to their wives and homes, while others go to town,
And over wine and women, they knock their money down.
And thus it is from year to year, a shearer's life goes round,
Until the iron hand of death, it lays him in the ground,
But if up there in heaven, they have a shearer's pen,
You'll find that heaven's sheep are shorn by Garrawilla men.
From the Bush Music Club Magazine Singabout. See more on the Bush Music Club Blog.
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory