Big-Gun Shearer (II), The (The Tomahawker)

DESCRIPTION: "Now, some shearing I have done, and some prizes I have won, Through my knuckling down so close to the skin... For that's the only way to make some tin." The singer boasts of success with women and declares that his tally is never less than ninety-nine
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1954 (Wannan)
KEYWORDS: sheep drink bragging injury
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (2 citations):
ADDITIONAL: Bill Wannan, _The Australians: Yarns, ballads and legends of the Australian tradition_, 1954 (page references are to the 1988 Penguin edition), pp. 61, "The Big-Gun Shearer" (1 text)
Bill Beatty, _A Treasury of Australian Folk Tales & Traditions_, 1960 (I use the 1969 Walkabout Paperbacks edition), pp. 296-297, "The Big-Gun Shearer" (1 text)

cf. "The Big Gun Shearer (I)" (plot)
NOTES [107 words]: "The Big Gun Shearer (I)" and "The Big Gun Shearer (II)" are rather similar in plot; I rather suspect one inspired the other. But they seem to have no lyrics at all in common. So I have, tentatively, split them. Unfortunately, Wannan simply lists this as traditional, with no source, so I have very little information about it. The key to identifying this version is probably the reference to "tomahawking" (or "tommyhowking" in the Wannan version) -- a reference to shearing so close the the skin that the sheep suffers many cuts. This was a fast way to shear, helping the shearer to a high tally, but obviously was not good for the sheep. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
File: Wanna061

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