Thursday, July 14, 2011

Widgegoweera Joe

Tully (?)

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I'm only a back-blocks shearer, as easily can be seen
I've shorn in almost every shed on the plains of the Riverine
I've shorn in most of the famous sheds, I've seen big tallies done
But somehow or other, I don't know why, I never became a gun

Hurrah, me boys, my shears are set, I feel both fit and well
Tomorrow will find me at my pen when the gaffer rings the bell
With Haydon's patent thumbguards fixed and both my blades pulled back
Tomorrow I go with a sliding blow for a century or the sack

I've opened down the windpipe straight, I've opened behind the ear
I've shorn in every possible style in which a man can shear
I've studied all the cuts and drives of the famous men I've met
But I've never succeeded in plastering up those three little figures yet

When the Boss walked past this morning, he stopped and he stared at me
For I'd mastered Moran's Great Shoulder Cut, as he could plainly see
But I've another surprise for him, that'll give his nerves a shock
Tomorrow I'll show him I have mastered Pierce's Rang-tang Block

And if I succeed, as I hope to do, next year I intend to shear
At the Wagga Demonstration, that's held there every year
And there I'll lower the colours, the colours of Mitchell and Co
Instead of Deeming, you will hear of Widgegoweera Joe

Also known the Backblocks Shearer. Another from Ron Edwards. Some online versions have W Tully as the author. Featured in Reedy River.

One version of this delightful song on Mudcat has the magnificent mondegreen "Tomorrow I'll go with a sardine blow..."

The illustration is from Picture Queensland, State Library of Queensland.

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