Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Ryebuck Shearer


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I come from the south and my name is Field
And when my shears are properly steeled
It's a hundred and odd I have very often peeled
And of course I'm a ryebuck shearer

If I dont shear a tally before I go
My shears and stone in the river I'll throw
And I'll never open Sawbees or take another blow
And prove I'm a ryebuck shearer

There's a bloke on the board and I heard him say
I couldn't shear a hundred sheep in a day
But some fine day I'll show him the way
And prove I'm a ryebuck shearer

Oh I'll make a splash but I wont say when
I'll hop off my tail and I'll into the pen
While the ringer's shearing five I'll be shearing ten
And prove I'm a ryebuck shearer

There's a bloke on the board and he's got a yellow skin
A very long nose and he shaves on the chin
And a voice like a billy goat pissing in a tin
And of course he's a ryebuck shearer

Collected by John Meredith in 1953 from the singing of Jack Luscombe.

Meredith also collected the words from Ernie Sibley in the beer garden of the Orient Hotel in Mudgee, NSW.

An excerpt from the book Folk Songs of Australia:
"The four remembered verses were taken down, and after another beer Ernie set off on his pushbike. Ten minutes later he jumped off his bike and breathlessly added the chorus that he had suddenly remembered along the road".

First published in Singabout, volume 2, no.1, in 1957.

The illustration to this post is the painting, The Ryebuck Shearer by Hugh Sawrey (1923-1999).

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