Australian Folk Songs
songs | books | records | articles | glossary | links | search | responses | home
The Broken-Hearted Shearer (1886)
Air--"Wearing of the Green."
I'm a broken-hearted shearer, and ashamed to show my face,
The way that I've been treated is a shame and a disgrace ;
I raked a cheque together, and thought that it would do.
So I went in to the town just to spend a weak or two ;
I thought I was no "flat," so resolved to 'cut it fit.'
Dressed myself from top to toe, put a pugg'ry round my hat ;
Then I went to get a nobbier at a certain house in town,
Where the barmaid was a caution to lamb a shearer down
Chorus--To lamb, &c.
Oh, she tossed me up at "Yankee grab" to keep me on the booze,
And, somehow or the other, I was always bound to loose ;
She would turn and twist about, saying "That slews you, old chap :"
"Sold again and got the money," Who struck Buckley such a rap !"
She had all the slang and flash talk that was going round the town.
And she'd sling it at me right and left while I was lambing down.
Now, my money being finished, I resolved to know my fate,
So I asked this pretty barmaid if she would be my mate.
She said, "Young man be civil, on my feelings don't encroach ;
I'm a decent married woman, and my husband drives the coach !"
Her smiles, that used to be, were all turned into frowns,
When she made the grand discovery that she had me lambed down.
Oh ! I have sold my good old horse, and I'll get some work, I hope ;
I've some tea, and some tobacco, and a half a bar of soap,
Some flour and some matches, a billy, and jackshay,
And a box of Cockle's pills and a jar of Holloway.
Ah, that's all my five years' gathering
Since last I left the town,
But it's nothing when you're used to it to do a lambing down.
From the NSW Newspaper the Burrowa News Fri 1 Jan 1886 p. 4.This appears to be the first published version of the song. Ron Edwards in his 'Australian Folk Song Index' writes that the song comes "From the Queenslander , 13 October 1894 with the title LAMBING DOWN, and "From the Bulletin 31 Oct 1885"
australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory