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Click Go the Shears

traditional Australian song
composer unknown

See it on You Tube
Click Go the Shears on

This song is still sung in Australian schools. I applaud the teachers for passing on to the younger generation our Aussie culture and traditions.

We also owe a debt of gratitude those collectors who helped preserve our cultural heritage through song.

Many of Australia's early songs were never written down until decades later by music collectors. They would listen to someone singing the song and write it all down to preserve it.

There are many versions of the songs we have on this website. Some singers will change a word here and there because that's the way they heard it sung. On old songs like this one, don't worry about the minor differences. Just enjoy the song!

See also Murrumbidgee Shearer

Shearing Sheep

Listen to the music


Down by the pen the old shearer stands
Grasping the shears in his thin bony hands
Fixed is his gaze on a bare-bellied joe,
If he gets another one, oh Lord, won't he blow!

Click go the shears, boys, Click! Click! Click!
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick
The ringer looks around and is beaten by a blow,
And curses the old snagger with the bare-bellied joe.

In the middle of the floor in his cane-bottomed chair
Sits the boss of the board with his eyes everywhere.
Notes well each fleece as it comes to the screen,
Paying strict attention that it's taken off clean.


The colonial-experience man he is there, of course
With his shiny leggin's just got off his horse
Casting round his eye like a real connoisseur
Whistling the old tune "I'm the Perfect Lure"


The tar-boy is there, waiting in demand,
With his blacken'd tar-pot and his tarry hands.
Sees one old sheep with a cut upon its back,
Here's what he's waiting for, its "Tar here Jack!"


Shearing is all over and we've all got our cheques
So it's roll up your swags, boys, we're off to the next,
The first pub we come to we'll all have a spree,
And everyone who comes along, it's
   "Come and drink with me!"


Down by the bar the old shearer stands,
Grasping his glass in his thin bony hands,
Fixed is his gaze on a green painted keg.
Glory, he'll get down on it, ere he stirs a leg.


There we leave him standing, shouting for all hands
Whilst all around him every shouter stands
His eyes are on the cask which is now lowering fast
He works hard he drinks hard and goes to hell at last


You take off the belly-wool clean out the crutch
Go up the neck for the rules they are such
You clean round the horns first shoulder go down
One blow up the back and you then turn around


Click, click, that's how the shears go
Click, click, so awfully quick
You pull out a sheep he'll give a kick
And still hear your shears going click, click, click

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