Monday, July 18, 2011

The New Chum Shearer


Well the new chum toils with heart and soul,
Shearing the sheep just to make a roll,
Out in the outback, far away;
Off to Sydney for a holiday

And down in the city he's a terrible swell,
As he takes a taxi to the Kent Hotel,
The barmaid says, "Well you look ill!
Must have been rough tucker, Bill."

And down in the city he looks a goat,
With his Oxford bags and Seymour coat.
Spends his money like a fool of course;
He's worked for like a bloomin' horse.

Then he shouts for everyone round the place,
Then it's off to Randwick for the big horse race.
Dopes himself on back-ache pills,
Talks high tallies and tucker bills.

His money's gone, he's sick and sore,
And the barmaid's looks aren't kind any more
His erstwhile friends don't give a hoot,
It's back to the bush, per what? - the boot!

And back in Bourke, where the flies are bad,
He tells of the wonderful times he's had;
The winners that he shouldn't have missed,
And he skites of the dozens of girls he's kissed.

And he stands on the corner scrounging a fag,
The shirt tails showing through his Oxford bags;
He's pawned that beautiful Seymour coat;
He's got no money - oh, what a goat.

Got no tucker, got no booze,
The soles are gone from his snake-skin shoes.
Camps in the bend, in the wind and rain
Waits for the shearing to start again.

So all you blokes with a cheque to spend,
Don't go down to the city where you've got no friends,
Head for the nearest wayside shack -
It ain't so far, when you've got to walk back!

Lyrics and notes from Jason & Chloe Roweth:

Ron Edwards calls it 'The Big Gun Shearer' and thinks it was originally a recitation. It comes from Bill Bowyang's 'Bush Recitations' (1940) and Bill Scott may have added the last verse. Mike learnt the song from Chris Sullivan.

This tune via Warren Fahey.

Bob Bolton has been kind enough to add the following by email:

" ...the tune for the New Chum Shearer is the one originally applied by the late Bill Scott. He told me that was from a bawdy sailors' song he knew as The Winnipeg Whore."

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