Another Fall of Rain
(Air: “Little Low Log Cabin in the Lane.”)
The weather had been sultry for a fortnight’s time or more,
And the shearers had been driving might and main,
For some had got the century who’d ne’er got it before,
And now all hands were wishing for the rain.
For the boss is getting rusty, and the ringer’s caving in,
For his bandaged wrist is aching with the pain,
And the second man, I fear, will make it hot for him,
Unless we have another fall of rain.
A few had taken quarters, and were coiling in their bunks
When we shore the six-tooth wethers from the plain.
And if the sheep get harder, then a few more men will funk,
Unless we get another fall of rain.
But the sky is clouding over; and the thunder’s muttering loud,
And the cloud’s are driving eastward o’er the plain,
And I see the lightning flashing from the edge of yon black cloud,
And I hear the gentle patter of the rain.
So, lads, put on your stoppers, and let us to the hut,
Where we’ll gather round and have a friendly game,
While some are playing music and some play ante up,
And some are gazing outwards at the rain.
But now the rain is over; let the pressers spin the screw,
Let the teamsters back the waggons in again,
And we’ll block the classer’s table by the way we’ll put them through,
For everything is merry since the rain.
And the boss he won’t be rusty when his sheep they all are shorn,
And the ringer’s wrist won’t ache much with the pain
Of pocketing his cheque for fifty pounds or more,
And the second man will press him hard again.
“Another Fall of Rain” is a song that needs a little explanation. The strain of shearing is very severe on the wrists, and the ringer or fastest shearer is very apt to go in the wrists, especially at the beginning of a season. Hence the desire of the shearers for a fall of rain after a long stretch of hot weather.
A. B. Paterson (editor), The Old Bush Songs, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1905, pp. 28-29