> Martyn Wyndham-Read > Songs > Springtime It Brings On the Shearing

Springtime It Brings On the Shearing

[ Roud - ; AFS 81 ; Ballad Index MA186 ; E.J. Overbury]

Brian Mooney, Martyn Wyndham-Read and David Lumsden sang The Springtime It Brings On the Shearing in 1963 on their album Moreton Bay , and Brian Mooney, Glen Tomasetti and Martyn Wyndham-Read sang it in 1965 on their album Will Ye Go Lassie Go?.

Dave de Hugard sang The Springtime It Brings On the Shearing on the 1982 Larrikin anthology of songs of the Australian bush, Seven Creeks Run.

Martyn Wyndham-Read sang The Springtime It Brings On the Shearing in 1986 on Fellside’s 25th anniversary anthology, Flash Company. This track was also included in 2001 on the CD reissue of his 1981 Fellside album, Emu Plains. His album’s liner notes commented:

Writing in his book Great Australian Folk Songs, in 1965 John Lahey noted that “a lot of old shearers say that they had never heard this song until the last ten years or so”. He went on to note, though, that there was evidence that, in one form or another, it did exist back into the 19th century. Producer Paul Adams heard it on an LP by Gary Shearston ad asked Martyn if he knew it. Of course he did! It was specially recorded for the LP Flash Company. Here, again, it gets away from the usual, boastful, style of a lot of the shearer’s songs. It is a gentle, matter-of-fact sort of song; it paints a contented picture, which verges on the romantic image of bush life.

Martyn Wyndham-Read also sang this song on his 1992 Fellside album, Mussels on a Tree. This recording was also included in 1996 on his compilation Undiscovered Australia.

This video shows Martyn Wyndham-Read singing The Springtime It Brings On the Shearing in June 2020:

Danny Spooner sang Springtime It Brings On the Shearing in 2004 on his album of Australian songs of toil and reward, ’Ard Tack. He noted:

After pastoralists climbed up over the barrier of the Blue Mountains in 1815, there was no stopping the land-hungry. There were laws limiting their expansion, but no way of policing them. As their animals reduced the pasture (which had been created by aboriginal fire-farming) they simply moved on to the next area. There was little or no attempt made to care for or improve the land. The itinerant shearers and labourers followed seeking work and had to know well the country.


Martyn Wyndham-Read sings Springtime It Brings On the Shearing

Oh the springtime it brings on the shearing
And it’s then you will see them in droves,
To the west country stations all steering,
To find them a job off the coves.

Chorus (after each verse):
With a ragged old swag on my shoulder
And a billy quart pot in my hand,
Oh, I tell you we’ll astonish the new chums
To see how we travel the land.

From Billabone Murray and Loddon
To the far Tartiara and back,
Oh, the mountains and plains are well trodden
By the men on the Wallaby Track.

There are many who wait during shearing,
Then shoulder the swags on their back.
For the rest of the year they’ll be steering
On their well-beloved Wallaby Track.

And after the shearing is over
And the wool season’s all at an end,
Well, it’s then you will see those flash shearers
Making johnny cakes round in the bend.