Click Go The Shears hornpipe

Also known as Strike The Bell.

There are 6 recordings of this tune.

Click Go The Shears has been added to 18 tunebooks.

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One setting

X: 1
T: Click Go The Shears
R: hornpipe
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
F2 F>E D2 F>A|(3ddd d>c B4|A2 A>B A2 F>D|(3EEE E>F E4|
F2 F>E D2 F>A|(3ddd d>c B4|e>dc>B A>GF>E|D2 d>d d4|
e2 e>d c2 e2|d2 f2 d4|B2 B>c d>cd>B|A>BA>F E>GF>E|
F2 F>E D2 F>A|(3ddd d>c B4|e>dc>B A>GF>E|D2 d>d d4||

Six comments

Originally the air of an English song called “Strike the Bell”.

Later used in Australia as the air of a song about about sheep-shearing called: “Click Go the Shears”, popularised by Rolf Harris.

Useful in set of tunes for any dance requiring 16-bar hornpipes - particularly if there are any Australians present, who always seem to know it.

Strike the Bell - Lyrics

Strike the Bell

Up on the poop deck and walking about,
There’s the second mate so steady and so stout.
What he is a-thinkin’ of he doesn’t know himself,
And we wish that he would hurry up and strike, strike the bell.


Strike the bell second mate, let us go below,
Look well to windward you can see it’s gonna blow.
Look at the glass, you can see it has fell,
Oh we wish that you would hurry up and strike, strike the bell.

Down on the main deck and workin’ at the pumps,
There is the larboard watch just longing for their bunks.
Look out to windward, you can see a great swell,
And we wish that you would hurry up and strike, strike the bell.

Forward on the forecastle head and keepin’ sharp lookout,
There is Johnny standin‘, a-longin’ fer to shout,
Lights‘ a-burnin’ bright sir and everything is well,
And he’s wishin’ that the second mate would strike, strike the bell.

Aft at the wheelhouse old Anderson stands,
Graspin’ at the helm with his frostbitten hands,
Lookin’ at the compass through the course is clear as hell,
And he’s wishin’ that the second mate would strike, strike the bell.

Aft on the quarter deck our gallant captain stands,
Lookin’ out to windward with a spyglass in his hand.
What he is a-thinkin’ of we know very well,
He’s thinkin‘ more of shortenin’ sail than strikin’ the bell.

Click Go the Shears - Lyrics

Click Go the Shears

Out on the boards the old shearer stands,
Clasping his shears in his thin bony hands,
Fixed is his eyes on a blue-bellied Joe
Glory, if he gets her, won’t he make the ringer go!


Click go the shears, boys, click, click, click,
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick,
The ringer looks around as he’s beaten by a blow
And curses the old swagger with the blue-bellied Joe.

The tar boy is there, and he’s in great demand
With his blackened tar-pot in his tarry hand:
He sees one old sheep with a cut upon its back
This is what he’s waiting for, it’s “Tar here, Jack!”

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

The Colonial Experienced Man, he’s there of course
With his shiny leggings like he’s just off his horse
Casting ’round his eyes, just like a connoisseur,
Whistling the old tying tune, “I’m a perfect lure.”

Well, the shearing is over, we’ve all got our checks
Pack up your swags, boys, we’re off on the tracks
The first pub we come to, it’s there we’ll have a spree
With everybody shouting out, “Come and drink with me!.”

Re: Click Go The Shears

Not exactly traditional. Originally a song, “Strike the Bell Watchman,” written by Henry Clay Work.