From the Lambing to the Wool
About the Song
My father was a cocky as his father was before him
And I married me a cocky nearly 50 years ago
And I've lived here on this station and I've seen the seasons changing
From the drought round to the flooding, from the lambing to the wool
C F C F / C F C G ://
And there've been times when I've wondered if it all was worth the doing
And there've been times when I've though this was the finest place there is
For tho’ the life here's never easy & the hours are long & heavy
I'm quite contented nowadays to have joined my life to his
F - C - / F - C G / C F C F / C F CG C
Together thru the ‘30s while others' lives were broken
We worked from dawn to twilight to hold on to what was ours
And at night we'd sit exhausted & I'd stroke his dusty forehead
With him too tired to talk to me & me too tired to care
Then the children came unbidden bringing laughter to the homestead
And I thanked the Lord my sons were young, too young for battle then
And I counted myself lucky to lose no one close to family
Tho’ the neighbours lost their only son, sold up & moved to town
And the children have grown & left me for careers in town & city
And I'm proud of them but sadly for none chose station life
And now I smile to hear them talking of the hard slog in the office
For when I think of working hard I see a cocky & his wife
lyrics & music by Judy Small. (c) Crafty Maid Music. All rights reserved.
From Judy Small Songbook: "This song, loosely based on a conversation I had with the mother of a friend who lived on a sheep station in western New South Wales, is an attempt to redress the imbalance in Australian folk music whereby most of the traditional songs are about the lives of men in the bush - shearers, drovers, bushrangers, swaggies ..."
The term 'cocky' for a farmer originated about the time that Sir John Robertson's Free Selection Act came into force in New South Wales. When the bill was being discussed in Parliament one member complained that the Act would ruin the country because it spread selectors over the land like cockatoos, and eventually the land would be so damaged as to make it worthless. Gradually the term 'cocky' was applied to every small farmer and later those who engaged in dairy farming became known as 'cow cockies'.
The vocal on the Charlie King album below (Feelings of Fire) is actually be Dave Gordon. The final video is from an album by an Australian folk ensemble called "Quintessence" made up of members of the Hills Folk Club in Adelaide, Australia.