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'Ard Tac 1. I'm a shearer, yes I am, and I've shorn 'em sheep and lamb From the Wimmera to the Darling Downs and back, And I've rung a shed or two where the fleece was tough as glue But I'll tell you where I struck the 'ardest tac. 2. I was down round Yenda way, killing time from day to day Till the big sheds started moving further out When I struck a bloke by chance that I summed up in a glance As a cocky from a vineyard round about. 3. Now it seems he picked me too; well, it wasn't hard to do 'Cause I had some tongs a-hangin' at the hip, "I got a mob,"he said, "A mob about two hundred head And I'll give a ten pun note to have the clip." 4. I says, "Right, I'll take the stand" - it meant gettin' in me hand And by nine o'clock we'd rounded up the mob In a shed sunk in the ground - yeah, with wine casks all around And that was where I started on me job. 5. I goes easy for a bit while me hand was gettin' fit And by dinner-time I'd done some half a score With the cocky pickin' up and handing me a cup Of pinky after every sheep I shore. 6. The cocky had to go away about the seventh day After showing me the kind of cask to use Then I'd do the picking up and manipulate the cup Strolling round them wine casks, just to pick and choose. 7. Then I'd stagger to the pen, grab a sheep and start again With a noise between a hiccup and a sob And sometimes I'd fall asleep with me arms around the sheep Worn and weary from me over-arduous job. 8. And so six weeks went by, until one day with a sigh I pushed the dear old cobbler through the door Gathered in the cocky's pay then staggered on me way From the hardest bloody shed I ever shore. note:"Recorded at the home of Mr. Jack Davies, a pioneer soldier-settler of the Leeton District, on the Murrumbidgee, N.S.W. Mr. Davies says he didn't write "Ard Tac", but adds, "I distinctly remember being sober the day it was written." (Lahey). Tune heard from Mike Eves, Sydney FC, 1971. JB oct96
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