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Yabtree Shearing (1904)


If you are idle for a while
And want something to do,
Juit run your eye along these lines
And see if they are true ;
I'm going to try and tell you of
The shearing down at Yabtree,
About the Boss and station hand,
The shearer and the "Roway."
They called the roll--September last--
The shearers were all there ;
The sixteen pens were all filled up,
There was not one to spare ;
A few old hands were in the shed,
Though there were many new,
The old ones are the handiest,
For they know well what to do ;
The new ones must be broken in
And shown what's to be done,
(But whether they are old or new
They knock out plenty fun).
The Boss was there, you may depend,
To keep his eye on all,
He watches, every little thing
No matter large or small.
His very life is wrapped up in
The sheep, and all their habits ;
He studies well the breed of stock,
And shifts the nibbling rabbits.
The overseer was there as well,
From up the "top end" way ;
He'd take his turn there o'er the board
If the boss was 'eer away ;
It didn't matter what there was
To do--clip, or draft, or muster--
He'd battle round among the lot
(And never in a fluster).
And then the classer far the wool
Was there again again this year ;
Thaf was his tenth at Yabtree shed,
So he's just the thing, that's clear.
He classes well, without a doubt,
And never makes a bloomer ;
He wears a jovial happy smile,
With plenty jolly humour.
The engine had her same old mate
It's true, old friend of old,
He greaiea, cleans and polishes,
And makes her shine like gold.
The expert there for the machines
Was there last year as now,
He has a pen and shears there too,
And shears right well I trow.
Ami then again, our good old friend,
The one that's liked by all--
The chap that keep the books,
And keeps the tucker stall.
By tucker stall I mean the store
Over which that chap presides,
He brands the bales and keeps the count
And lots of things besides.
The same old hand still drives the team
That takes the wool away,
He's tougher than the hardest iron,
And works both night and day.
The station hands from down below,
There at the shed were toiling,
In mustering, drafting, dipping sheep
(And plenty browney spoiling).
Some tallies there were fairly large,
And averaged o'er the hundred,
For they all shore both well and neat,
And very seldom blundered.
The shearing there was pretty good
Though the weather it was bad,
But the rain was wanted badly,
And made some hearts feel glad.
The wool this year was very good,
The clip was fair all through,
The young stud ewes were simply grand,
And worth a lot that's true,
Some twenty-three odd thousand were shorn
(Includlug lambs and all).
But the lambs they lost at lambing time
Have made the total small
I hope they strike a tip-top sale
In England with tne clip,
If I only had the cheque it brings,
I'd surely take a trip.

Yabtree, November 16, 1904.


From the NSW Newspaper the Gundagai Times 22 November 1904 p 2.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory