Click Go The Shears
Out on the board the old shearer stands,
Grasping his shears in his long, bony hands;
Fixed is his gaze on a bare-bellied ' joe',
Glory if he gets her, won't he make the 'ringer' go!
Click go the shears boys, click, click, click;
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick,
The ringer looks around and is beaten by a blow,
And curses the old snagger with his bare-bellied ' joe'.
In the middle of the floor, in his cane-bottomed chair
Is the boss of the board, with his everywhere;
Notes well each fleece as it comes to the screen,
Paying strict attention if it's taken off clean.
The colonial experience man, he is there, of course,
With his shiny leggin's, just got off his horse;
Casting round his eye, like a real connoisseur,
Whistling the old tune, "I'm the Perfect Lure."
The tar-boy is there, awaiting in demand,
With his blackened tar-pot, and his tarry hand,
Sees one old sheep with a cut upon its back,
Hears what he's waiting for. "Tar here, Jack!"
Shearing is all over and we've all got our cheques,
Roll up your swag boys, we're off on the tracks;
The first pub we come to, it's there we'll have a spree,
And everyone that comes along, it's 'Have a drink with me!'
Down by the bar the old shearer stands,
Grasping his glass in his thin bony hands;
Fixed is his gaze on a green-painted keg,
Glory, he'll get down on it, ere he stirs a peg.
There we leave him standing, shouting for all hands,
Whilst all around him, every drinker stands:
His eyes are on the cask, which is now lowering fast,
He works hard, he drinks hard, and goes to hell at last!
A few explanations for the reader:
- A bare-bellied joe would be a ewe with a condition where the wool falls off around the legs and belly.
- A ringer in sheep terms is the best shearer in the shed.
- To run sings everywhere means to be the best all around and surpassing everyone.
- The snagger is the worst shearer in the shed.
Hope this clears up a few things! :)