Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Shearing in the Bar

This is the time of year when I am the perfect gardener.

No weeds growing in my garden.  Every plant looks exactly like the catalog picture.

The following bit of poetry is to promote cultural diversity.  This poem/song is from Australia.

A Song by Duke Tritton

My shearing days are over, though I never was a gun
I could always count my twenty at the end of every run
I used the old Trade Union shears, and the blades were always full
As I drove 'em to the knockers, and I clipped away the wool
I shore at Goorianawa and didn't get the sack
From Breeza out to Compadore, I always could go back
And though I am a truthful man, I find when in a bar
My tallies seem to double, but I never call for tar

Picture from here
Shearing on the western plains where the fleece is full of sand
And the clover burr and corkscrew grass, is the place to try your hand
For the sheep are tall and wiry where they feed on the Mitchell grass
And every second one of them is close to the cobbler class
And a pen chock full of cobblers is a shearers dream of hell
So loud and lurid are their words when they catch one on the bell
But when we're pouring down the grog, you'll have no call for tar
For a shearer never cuts 'em, when shearing in a bar

Picture from here
At Louth I caught the bell sheep, a wrinkled, tough wooled brute
Who never stopped his kicking till I tossed him down the chute
My wrist was aching badly, but I fought him all the way
Couldn't afford to miss a blow, I must earn my pound a day
So when I'd take a strip of skin, I'd hide it with my knee
Turn the sheep around a bit where the right bower couldn't see
Then try and catch the rousie's eye and softly whisper "tar"
But it never seems to happen when I'm shearing in the bar

Picture from here
I shore away the belly wool and trimmed the crutch and hocks
Opened up along the neck while the rousie swept the locks
Then smartly swung the sheep around and dumped him on his rear
Two blows to clip away the wig - I also took an ear
Then down around the shoulder and the blades were open wide
As I drove 'em on the long blow and down the whipping side
And when the fleece fell on the board, he was nearly black with tar
But this is never mentioned when I'm shearing in a bar

Picture from here
Now when the seasons ended and my grandsons all come back
In their buggies and their sulkies -I was always on the track
They come and take me into town to fill me up with beer
And I sit on a corner stool and listen to them shear
There's not a bit of difference - it must make the angels weep
To hear a mob of shearers in a barroom shearing sheep
For the sheep go rattling down the race with never a call for tar
For a shearer never cuts 'em when he's shearing in a bar

Picture from here
Then memories come a crowding and they wipe away the years
And my hand begins to tighten and I seem to feel the shears
I want to tell them of the sheds, the sheds where I have shorn
Full fifty years and sometimes more, before these boys were born
I want to speak of yarragin, Dunlop or Wingadee
But the beer has started working and I'm wobbling at the knees
So I'd better not start shearing, I'd be bound to call for tar
Then be treated as a blackleg when I'm shearing in a bar

(Note:  Tar is dabbed on the cuts to slow the bleeding and to function as a mild antiseptic)

Enjoy these following Holy days.

-Joe

2 comments:

  1. May you have the most blessed of days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank-you for reading. Your blog has given me countless hours of enjoyment and enlightenment.

      Thank-you for your kind words. I hope your holiday goes well.

      -Joe

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