From the Lambing to the Wool

Words and  Music: Judy Small


Sue Ribado taught me this song of a woman so busy surviving she never had a moment to question the difficult life she chose as the wife of a cocky (or cockatoo) farmer. (AMM)


My father was a cocky as his father was before him

And I married me a cocky nearly fifty 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



            And there've been times when I wonder

            if it all was worth the doing

            And there've been times when I thought

            this was the finest place there is

            For though the life is never easy and

            the hours are long and heavy

            I'm quite contented nowadays to have

            joined my life to his


Together through the thirties

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

and I'd stroke his dusty forehead

With him too tired to talk to me

and me to tired to care





Then the children came unbidden

bringing laughter to the homestead

And I thank the lord my sons were young

too young for battle then

And I counted myself lucky to lose no one

close to family

Though my neighbors lost their only son

sold up and moved to town




And the children have grown and

left me for careers in town and city

And I'm proud of them but sadly

for none chose station life

And now I smile to hear them talking

'bout the hard slog in the office

For when I think of working hard

I see a cocky and his wife





From the Lambing to the Wool is recorded on the album Harbors of Home