Backblock Shearer, The

DESCRIPTION: "I'm only a backblock shearer, as easily can be seen... I've shorn in most of the famous sheds, I've seen big tallies done, But somehow or other, I don't know why, I never became a gun." The shearer describes his many attempts to make the century
AUTHOR: W. Tully
EARLIEST DATE: 1953 (Collected from Jack Lee by John Meredith)
KEYWORDS: sheep work contest
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Meredith/Tritton-DukeOfTheOutback, p. 95, "Tooraweenah Joe" (1 text, 1 tune)
Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia, pp. 38-39, "The Backblock Shearer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Anderson-StoryOfAustralianFolksong, pp. 179-180, "The Backblocks Shearer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manifold-PenguinAustralianSongbook, pp. 128-129, "Widgegoara Joe (The Backblock Shearer)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Paterson/Fahey/Seal-OldBushSongs-CentenaryEdition, pp. 200-202, "The Backblocks Shearer" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Bill Wannan, _The Australians: Yarns, ballads and legends of the Australian tradition_, 1954 (page references are to the 1988 Penguin edition), p. 62, "Widgeegowera Joe" (1 text)
Bill Beatty, _A Treasury of Australian Folk Tales & Traditions_, 1960 (I use the 1969 Walkabout Paperbacks edition), pp. 294-295, "Widgeegowera Joe" (1 text)

Roud #29042 and 24808
cf. "Castle Gardens" (tune, according to Wannan)
NOTES [17 words]: A "gun" was a high-speed shearer who could shear "the century" (100 sheep) in an eight hour day. - RBW
Last updated in version 5.0
File: MA038

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.