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CHRIST WAS BORN IN A SHEARING SHED (Colin Newsome / Leigh Newton, 1999) The shearers were shearing at Bethlehem, The men were all at the shed, When a swagman asked for shelter of them, For his wife on an ass he led. The rep. looked him over, his head on one side, Like an emu out in the scrub, When the stranger said his wife was denied Accommodation at the pub. The girl was pregnant. Ah, what was the use, Us blokes we could read the signs: They'd kicked her out when she couldn't produce Respectable marriage lines. Well, that was all right. Why, every tramp, White, or yellow, or black, Was welcome to meals and a place to camp In the shearing sheds outback. The presser he dragged out a butt of wool To the cosiest nook in the shed; "Here, grab 'youseselves' a pack a piece "And make 'youseselves' a bed". That night we awoke to a racket and ramp And wondered what could it be? It sounded like an Aborigines' camp The night of corroboree. You've heard the music the Beatles played? Well, toss in a harp, and a horn, And you've got the racket those angels made The night that Christ was born. While the angels raved on about "Peace on Earth" Us shearers went back to bed For stranger things than a saviour's birth Have happened in shearing sheds. There were shepherds, of course, allaround the place. Now these blokes, they don't see much of life, So they gathered around and they lent a hand To help out the stranger's wife. Three Afghan camel men came from afar. They were wise, so said the boss, They had travelled a course 'neath a shining star Just East of the Southern Cross. They were generous coves, too, I'll be bound. They gave him some toys, and a bell, And some baby clothes they had hawked around And hadn't been able to sell. Squatters wrote the bible. You can tell by the rhymes. And some of these blokes insist (Excepting, of course, at shearing time) That a shearer doesn't exist. They reckon us shearers, 'cos of the strikes Are the lowest types on Earth; And they wouldn't connect the likes of us To the scene of a saviour's birth. Born in a manger, is that what you say? Aw, mates, that's a load of bull! He wasn't born in a manger of hay But a bin of merino wool.

    


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