'Ard Tac

 I'm a shearer, yes I am, and I've shorn 'em sheep and lamb

  From the Wimmera to the Darling Downs and back,

  And I've rung a shed or two where the fleece was tough as glue

  But I'll tell you where I struck the 'ardest tac.


 I was down round Yenda way, killing time from day to day

  Till the big sheds started moving further out

  When I struck a bloke by chance that I summed up at a glance

  As a cocky from the vineyards round about.


 Now it seems he picked me too;  well, it wasn't hard to do

  I'd a pair of tongs a-hangin' from my hip,

  "I got a mob,"he said, "A mob about two hundred head

  And I'll give a ten pound note to have the clip."


  Well I said I'd take the stand" - it meant gettin' in me hand

  And by nine o'clock we'd rounded up the mob

  In a shed sunk in the ground, with wine casks all around

  It was there that I started on me job.


 I went easy for a bit while me hand was gettin' fit

  And by dinner-time I'd shorn some half a score

  With the cocky pickin' up and handing me a cup

  Of pinky after every sheep I shore.


 The cocky had to go away about the seventh day

  After showing me the kind of cask to use

  Then I'd do the picking up and manipulate the cup

  Strolling round them wine casks, just to pick and choose.


 Then I'd stagger to the pen, grab a sheep and start again

  With a noise between a hiccup and a sob

  And sometimes I'd fall asleep with me arms around the sheep

  Worn and weary from me over-arduous job.


 And so six weeks went by, until one day with a sigh

  I pushed the dear old cobbler through the door

  Gathered in the cocky's pay then staggered on me way

  From the hardest bloody shed I ever shore.