(This score available as
a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available
Shearing in the Bar (Duke Tritton) My shearing days are over, though I never was a gun I could always count my twenty at the end of every run I used the old Trade Union shears, and the blades were always full As I drove 'em to the knockers, and I clipped away the wool I shore at Goorianawa and didn't get the sack From Breeza out to Compadore, I always could go back And though I am a truthful man, I find when in a bar My tallies seem to double, but I never call for tar Shearing on the western plains where the fleece is full of sand And the clover burr and corkscrew grass, is the place to try your hand For the sheep are tall and wiry where they feed on the Mitchell grass And every second one of them is close to the cobbler class And a pen chock full of cobblers is a shearers dream of hell So loud and lurid are their words when they catch one on the bell But when we're pouring down the grog, you'll have no call for tar For a shearer never cuts 'em, when shearing in a bar At Louth I caught the bell sheep, a wrinkled, tough wooled brute Who never stopped his kicking till I tossed him down the chute My wrist was aching badly, but I fought him all the way Couldn't afford to miss a blow, I must earn my pound a day So when I'd take a strip of skin, I'd hide it with my knee Turn the sheep around a bit where the right bower couldn't see Then try and catch the rousie's eye and softly whisper "tar" But it never seems to happen when I'm shearing in the bar I shore away the belly wool and trimmed the crutch and hocks Opened up along the neck while the rousie swept the locks Then smartly swung the sheep around and dumped him on his rear Two blows to clip away the wig - I also took an ear Then down around the shoulder and the blades were open wide As I drove 'em on the long blow and down the whipping side tar But this is never mentioned when I'm shearing in a bar Now when the seasons ended and my grandsons all come back In their buggies and their sulkies -I was always on the track They come and take me into town to fill me up with beer And I sit on a corner stool and listen to them shear There's not a bit of difference - it must make the angels weep To hear a mob of shearers in a barroom shearing sheep For the sheep go rattling down the race with never a call for tar For a shearer never cuts 'em when he's shearing in a bar Then memories come a crowding and they wipe away the years And my hand begins to tighten and I seem to feel the shears I want to tell them of the sheds, the sheds where I have shorn Full fifty years and sometimes more, before these boys were born I want to speak of yarragin, Dunlop or Wingadee But the beer has started working and I'm wobbling at the knees So I'd better not start shearing, I'd be bound to call for tar Then be treated as a blackleg when I'm shearing in a bar sung by Martyn Windom-Read SOF
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!