New Chum Crutcher
There's a story that I have to tell
And I'll tell it straight to you.
Though you may not believe me,
Every painful word is true.
I'd have a go at any job
For my name is Anton Teese,
But the work I did at ``Homelands''
Fair brought me to my knees.
Oh, I'll never be a ringer
Though rings around me lie,
I'll just be a new chum crutcher, lads,
Until the day I die.
Doug Treasure was the Boss's name
From down old Stratford way;
He said I could earn quick money
With work that was child's play.
``Come around tomorrow,'' he said,
With a twinkle in his eyes,
``You can crutch a mob or two for me
And discourage the damn blowflies.''
Well, I turned up that morning
And begged the frightened sheep
To come and lay down quietly
At my quaking feet.
But for all the good it did me
I may as well've begged the gaffer
For a bottle of Johnny Walker
And a billy of tobaccer.
Well, I shore the crawling maggots
And I cut the bloody sheep
While the dags were slowly piling up
Around my aching feet.
With sweaty blades I desexed the ewes
And terrified rams alike,
While the condemned were cringing in their pens
And s***ting themselves in fright.
I could imagine the ringers blowing
Their trumpets loud and hard
While I stared in desolation
Out across the woolly yards;
They'd tell of mighty shearers,
Jackie Howe and Roaring Dunn
Who could shear two dozen cobblers
While I was crutching one.
Oh, it's times like these I wonder
From my soul in abject pity.
What madness brought me to this place
And took me from the city;
But I pray that when the gaffer dies
He ends up down in Hell
Until the truth they tell
billy: billy can, used for boiling water for tea
cobblers: sheep that are tough and hard to shear
crutching: to cut away the wool around the sheep's backside to discourage
dags: bits of muck that cling to wool around the backside
new chum: a new arrival to an occupation; usually derogatory
ringer: the best shearer in the shed