Flash Jack from Gundagai
I’ve shore at Burrabogie, and I’ve shore at Toganmain,
I’ve shore at big Willandra and upon the old Coleraine,
But before the shearin’ was over I’ve wished myself back again
Shearin’, for old Tom Patterson, on the One Tree Plain.
All among the wool, boys,
Keep your wide blades full, boys,
I can do a respectable tally myself whenever I like to try,
But they know me round the back blocks as Flash Jack from Gundagai.
I’ve shore at big Willandra and I’ve shore at Tilberoo,
And once I drew my blades, my boys, upon the famed Barcoo,
At Cowan Downs and Trida, as far as Moulamein,
But I always was glad to get back again to the One Tree Plain.
Chorus: All among the wool, etc.
I’ve pinked ’em with the Wolseleys and I’ve rushed with B-bows, too,
And shaved ’em in the grease, my boys, with the grass seed showing through.
But I never slummed my pen, my lads, whate’er it might contain,
While shearin’ for old Tom Patterson, on the One Tree Plain.
I’ve been whalin’ up the Lachlan, and I’ve dossed on Cooper’s Creek,
And once I rung Cudjingie shed, and blued it in a week.
But when Gabriel blows his trumpet, lads, I’ll catch the morning train,
And I’ll push for old Tom Patterson’s, on the One Tree Plain.
“I’ve pinked ’em with the Wolseleys, and I’ve rushed with B-bows, too.” — Wolseleys and B-bows are respectively machines and hand-shears, and “pinking” means that he had shorn the sheep so closely that the pink skin showed through. “I rung Cudjingie shed and blued it in a week,” i.e., he was the ringer or fastest shearer of the shed, and he dissipated the earnings in a single week’s drunkenness.
“Whalin’ up the Lachlan.” — In the old days there was an army of “sundowners” or professional loafers who walked from station to station, ostensibly to look for work, but without any idea of accepting it. These nomads often followed up and down certain rivers, and would camp for days and fish for cod in the bends of the river. Hence whaling up the Lachlan.
A. B. Paterson (editor), The Old Bush Songs, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1905, pp. 26-27