Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Broken-Hearted Shearer


I'm a broken-hearted shearer, I'm ashamed to show my face,
For the way that I've been lambed down 'tis a caution to the snakes.
I took a trip to the Forest, and round the Canobolas then
We went down around the race course and back to town again.

Then I went to get a nobbler at a certain house in town,
Where the barmaid was a caution to lamb a shearer down.
Oh she tossed me up at "Yankee Grab" to keep me on the booze,
And somehow or the other, I was always bound to lose.

Oh me trousers I have two pair, me boots is not all there,
I've a couple of pair of blankets, like meself the worse for wear,
I've a billy can, a pint pot, a bucket and jackshay.
I've a box of Cockle's Pills and a jar of Holloway.

Oh, I have sold my good old horse, and I'll get some work I hope;
I've some tea and some tobacco, and a half a bar of soap.
And that's all my five years gathering since last I left the town,
But it's nothing when you're used to it do a lambing down.

From Singabout, Volume 2, Number 4 (May 1958).  Published with the following note:

Collected by John Meredith from Tom Byrnes of Parramatta, who learned it in the Orange (NSW) district, with some additional verses from Stewart and Keesing's Old Bush Songs.


  1. John, what the blazes is a 'jackshay" ?

  2. I apologise for having no idea. I will enquire of Bob Bolton who was the editor of this most wonderful publication.

  3. Then again, no need:

    Definition of JACKSHAY

    : a bushman's quart pot used esp. for boiling water