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.