Shearer's Dream


Henry Lawson

1902



First published in Children of the Bush in 1902. Usually attributed to Henry Lawson, this song appears in many collections of the poet's works; however, when John Meredith collected a version from Charles Ayger in 1957 he claimed to have heard it at school when Lawson would have been about nineteen.


O I dreamt I shore in a shearing shed and it was a dream of joy
For every one of the rouseabouts was a girl dressed up as a boy
Dressed up like a page in a pantomime the prettiest ever seen
They had flaxen hair they had coal black hair and every shade between

There was short plump girls there was tall slim girls and the handsomest ever seen
They was four foot five they was six foot high and every shade between

The shed was cooled by electric fans that was over every shoot
The pens was of polished mahogany and everything else to suit
The huts had springs to the mattresses and the tucker was simply grand
And every night by the billabong we danced to a German band

Our pay was the wool on the jumbucks' backs so we shore till all was blue
The sheep was washed afore they was shore and the rams were scented too
And we all of us cried when the shed cut out in spite of the long hot days
For every hour them girls waltzed in with whisky and beer on trays

There was three of them girls to every chap and as jealous as they could be
There was three of them girls to every chap and six of them picked on me
We was drafting them out for the homeward track and sharing them round like steam
When I woke with my head in the blazing sun to find it a shearer's dream




The Poetry of Henry Lawson
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