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AUSTRALIAN SONGS

The
Murrumbidgee
Shearer

traditional Australian song
composer unknown

What the words mean

  • Barwon ~ a river that runs through Queensland, NSW and Victoria
  • Darling ~ 4th longest river in Australia.
  • Murrumbidgee ~ major river in NSW and the ACT. The word means "big water" in the local Aboriginal Wiradjuri language.
  • Paroo ~ major tributary of the Darling River and flows in Queensland and NSW
  • Ballarat ~ city in Victoria approximately 105 km (65mi) from Melbourne.
  • Lachlan - river in central NSW
  • Lambing Flat ~ original name of the present NSW town called Young. The town is named after Sir John Young, Governor of NSW 1861-7.
  • station ~ usually large cattle or sheep properties (a ranch in USA)

Come, all you jolly natives, and Iíll relate to you
Some of my observations ó adventures, too, a few.
Iíve travelled about the country for miles, full many a score,
And oft-times would have hungered, but for the cheek I bore.

Iíve coasted on the Barwon ó low down the Darling, too,
Iíve been on the Murrumbidgee, and out on the Paroo;
Iíve been on all the diggings, boys, from famous Ballarat;
Iíve loafed upon the Lachlan and fossicked Lambing Flat.

I went up to a squatter, and asked him for a feed,
But the knowledge of my hunger was swallowed by his greed.
He said I was a loafer and for work had no desire,
And so, to do him justice, I set his shed on fire.

Oh, yes, Iíve touched the shepherdís hut, of sugar, tea, and flour;
And a tender bit of mutton I always could devour.
I went up to a station, and there I got a job;
Plunged in the store, and hooked it, with a very tidy lob.

Oh, yes, my jolly dandies, Iíve done it on the cross.
Although I carry bluey now, Iíve sweated many a horse.
Iíve helped to ease the escort of manyís the ounce of gold;
The traps have often chased me, more times than can be told.

Oh, yes, the traps have chased me, been frightened of their stripes
They never could have caught me, they feared my cure for gripes.
And well they knew I carried it, which they had often seen
A-glistening in my flipper, chaps, a patent pill machine.

Iíve been hunted like a panther into my mountain lair.
Anxiety and misery my grim companions there.
Iíve planted in the scrub, my boys, and fed on kangaroo,
And wound up my avocations by ten years on Cockatoo.

So you can understand, my boys, just from this little rhyme,
Iím a Murrumbidgee shearer, and one of the good old time.


Shearing Sheep

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