Monday, October 3, 2011

Sheepskin Creek

Anne Infante

My love is a shearer and he has gone roaming
Down Sheepskin Creek for many a long day
He has left me broken-hearted since the sad day we parted
On Sheepskin banks I will wait my life away

It was early one morning I heard the horses riding
And with haste he rose up from my bed
With pride my heart was swelling all the while my tears were falling
For he is the ringer of Donaldson’s shed

The long nights are lonely, the mopoke’s cry mournful
And my only protection the gun by the door
I fear the night’s noises and the sorrow in me rises
Alone and defenceless; it grieves me full sore

Before I was married, I had friends a-plenty
For parties and dancing myself would adorn
But in my wild bush home neighbours I have none
My thoughts go unspoken, my finery unworn

Up from the waterhole the buckets are heavy
And the yoke cuts my shoulders and chafes at my skin
My hands are rough and blistered from the axe and hoe and shovel
An ugly, stained setting for my gold wedding ring

It’s hard for a woman when her husband goes shearing
And children I have none to brighten my day
But the joy of his returning will be more than all my pining
So by Sheepskin Creek I will wait my life away

From the Brisbane author and songwriter, Anne Infante, who supplies the following notes:

Sheepskin Creek is in North Queensland. When I crossed the creek many years ago on my way to Townsville the song seemed to just pop into my head, words and music complete. I’ve always said that it was lurking on the creek bank waiting for a songwriter to come along and rescue it.

This recording of Sheepskin Creek comes from cloudstreet's 2010 album The Circus of Desires .

The illustration to this post is a detail from Frederick McCubbin's triptych, The Pioneers.

1 comment:

  1. This is gorgeous. Might have to sick Loosely Woven on to this one.