> A.L. Lloyd > Songs > The Shearer's Dream
> Trevor Lucas > Songs > The Shearer's Dream

The Shearer's Dream

[ Roud - ; AFS 79 ; Ballad Index MA116 ; Henry Lawson, A.L. Lloyd]

The Australian Folk Songs website commented on The Shearer's Dream:

This song was first published in Children of the Bush in 1902. It is usually attributed to Henry Lawson and appears in most collections of the poet, 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. The tune is from A.L. Lloyd, who based it on The Girl I Left Behind.

A.L. Lloyd sang The Shearer's Dream in 1958 on his Wattle album Across the Western Plains. In 1960, this track was reissued on the Topic LP Outback Ballads. And Trevor Lucas sang The Shearer's Dream on his second Australian solo album of 1966, Overlander.

A.L. Lloyd also sang The Shearer's Dream live at the Top Lock Folk Club, Runcorn, on November 5, 1972. This concert was published in 2010 on the Fellside CD An Evening with A.L. Lloyd.

Danny Spooner sang Shearer's Dream on his 2017 final CD, Home. His liner notes to this song are basically the same as the quote in the first paragraph above.

Lyrics

A.L. Lloyd sings The Shearer's Dream

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

Chorus (after each verse):
There was short plump girls, there was tall thin girls, prettiest ever I've seen.
They was four foot five, they was six foot high, and every shape between

The sheds was cooled by electric fans that were over every shoot.
The pens were 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, and we shore until they was blue.
The sheep were washed before they were shorn and the rams was perfumed too.
And we all of us wept when the sheds cut out inspite 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 could be.
There was three of them girls to every chap and six of them picked on me.
We was dropping them out for the homeward track and sharing them out like steam
When I woke with me head in the blazing sun to find it a shearer's dream.

Trevor Lucas sings The Shearer's Dream

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

Chorus (after each verse):
But there was tall thin girls, there was short fat girls, prettiest ever I've seen.
They was four foot five, they was six foot high, and every shape in between

Now the sheds was cooled by electric fans that hung over every shoot.
The pens were polished mahogany and everything else to suit.
And the huts had springs to the mattresses and the tucker was something grand
And every night by a billabong we danced to a German band.

Now our pay was the wool off the jumbucks' backs, so we shore until they was blue.
The sheep were shampooned before they were shorn and the rams was perfumed too.
And all of us cried when the sheds cut out to spite them 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 passing them out for the homeward run and sharing them out like steam
When I woke with me head in the blazing sun to find it a shearer's dream.

Acknowledgements

Lyrics copied from Mark Gregory's Australian Folk Songs and adapted to the actual singing of Trevor Lucas on Overlander.