DESCRIPTION: "They shore them wet on Monday, And they shore them wet again; How in the hell can a rousie live On twenty points of rain?"
EARLIEST DATE: 1987
KEYWORDS: work sheep
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Meredith/Covell/Brown, p. 278, "Rousie's Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
NOTES: Meredith et al explain that rouseabouts were paid by the week, and were allowed to "laze about" -- and get paid! -- if the shearers declared it too wet to work.
This doesn't make sense, though -- if rain lets workers get a paid vacation, why should they complain about it? And if it doesn't rain, they can always finish up and go elsewhere. So I have to suspect that this predates the work of the shearers' union, and comes from the days when the workers were paid only for work done. I'll admit that I don't know, though. - RBW
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