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After the Strike (1901)


The strike camp at Hillston
Has broken up at last,
For the squatters have had to give way.
Yes, the men of the backblocks
Together stuck fast,
And their unity has won them the day.

Then who would begrudge them
The victory they have won,
After struggling for many a long year ;
And it is nobody's business
If, when their labour it is done,
They do spend their money in beer.

"And so let us hope,"
Said a worker unto me,
Though the P.U. has had to go down,
They will show no ill-feeling,
For they surely must see
That their shearing has got to be done."

In that strike camp of workers
I know that there were some
Who for months had had no work to do.
They were ragged and foot-sore,
Yet in unity they clung.
And refused to sign under P.U.

Yes, the struggle is all over,
We have beaten the P.U.
At Willandra the shearing has begun
With a good lot of shearers,
Especially two--
And by which of those two will the shed be rung ?

Thompson's shear-blades they clink
As they open at the neck
And the wool rolls away like sea foam.
Says he, "If I can't beat young Tully,
And from this shed more sheep take,
To Monaro no more will I go home."

But I'll back shearer Tully,
And we'll see by-and-bye
When Willandra shed has cut out,
Whether 't will be Thompson or Tully
Who for the drinks will have to pay.
"Big gun" shearers they are without a doubt.


From the NSW Newspaper the Hillston Spectator and Lachlan River Advertiser Sat 21 Sep 1901 p. 12.

The P.U. is the Pastoralists Union set up by the wealthy squatters.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory