Lachlan Tigers goes to the same tune as The Station Cook.
It is a good tune, and it seems to have come from Scotland. It is one
of the few Scottish folk-song tunes used in the bush. This version
comes from A. L. Lloyd.
Howe was a famous shearer, in fact the most famous shearer of them all.
He shore 321 sheep in one day in 1892, and his record stood until 1947.
gate - the gate of the pen in which sheep are held alongside each shearer's work place in the shed.
whistle - as a signal to begin or end work.
tigers - as in the common Australian colloquial phrase, "he's a tiger for work,'' meaning a very hard and enthusiastic worker.
ringer - the fastest shearer in the shed.
whipping side: - the second side of the sheep to be shorn, after the finnicky work of shearing legs, head and so on was over.
tar - antiseptic used for cuts given sheep in shearing.
shearers are not generally employed directly by the stations, hut by a
middleman who contracts with the stations to see that their sheep are
topknots - the wool on the head of the sheep.
Ward and Paine's - a brand of shears.
Bogan - river in western New South Wales.
THE BANKS OF THE CONDAMINE
This song was made over from a British Broadside ballad of the time of the Napoleonic Wars, called The Banks of the Nile
(and that was made over from a still earlier broadside; in fact the
family tree can be traced back to the seventeenth century at least).
There are many sets of words and many tunes, collected from singers at
Rutherglen in Victoria, at Mataranka in the Northern Territory, and
many points in between. Sometimes the song is called The Banks of Riverine. Sometimes the men are not off to a shearing shed, but to a horse-breaking camp.
The Banks of the Condamine is one of the very few bush-made songs that you might call a love song.
version comes from A. L. Lloyd, who learnt it from Jack Lyons of Dubbo,
in New South Wales. Lloyd says that this melody is related to one used
for an Irish folk song.
- a town in southern Queensland. Condamine: - a river of southern
Queensland, one of the headwaters of the Darling, which flows through
western New South Wales.
selector - this means, literally
and usually, a man who takes up and farms, with the intention of
purchasing, land owned by the government, and made available to the
selector on favourable purchase terms, with extended credit, and
sometimes subsidies of one kind or another; the selector is in
Australia what the homesteader was in America. But the word carries
many overtones; and sometimes it may suggest nothing more than a small
squatters - here, as usually in Australian speech today, simply large station owners.
moleskins - trousers of heavy, closely-woven cotton cloth, today worn mostly by stockmen.
ramstag mutton - the implication, without going into the literal meaning, is of tough, rank meat.
boundary riding job
- again without going into the literal meaning of the word, the
implication is that the singer will get a job which will keep him
settled on one station - looking after the strategic, but scattered,
fences - instead of leading the nomadic existence of the shearer.
- cobbler is an old-fashioned word for shoemaker; the sheep which the
shearer left in his pen until the end of a work period were likely to
be hard to shear (because, for example, there was a lot of sand in
their wool); such sheep were kept till the last and so - in the
stereotyped shearers' joke - compared with the cobbler, who stuck to