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When I Was A Lad
Gilbert & Sullivan 1878 from the play H.M.S. Pinafore

Lyrics courtesy of www.sailorsongs.com

When I was a lad I served a term

As office boy to an Attorney's firm

I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor

And I polished up the handle of the big front door

He polished up the handle of the big front door

I polished up that handle so carefully

That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navy

He polished up that handle so carefully

That now he is the ruler of the Queen's Navy

As office boy I made such a mark T

hat they gave me the post of a junior clerk

I served the writs with a smile so bland

And I copied all the letters in a big round hand

He copied all the letters in a big round hand

I copied all the letters in a hand so free

That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navy

He copied all the letters in a hand so free

That now he is the Ruler of the Queen's Navy

In serving writs I made such a name

That an articled clerk I soon became

I wore clean collars and a brand-new suit

For the pass examination at the Institute

For the pass examination at the Institute.

And that pass examination did so well for me

That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navy

That pass examination did so well for he

That now he is the Ruler of the Queen's Navy

Of legal knowledge I acquired such a grip

That they took me into the partnership And that junior partnership, I ween

Was the only ship that I ever had seen

Was the only ship that he ever had seen.

But that kind of ship so suited me

That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navy

But that kind of ship so suited he

That now he is the ruler of the Queen's Navy

I grew so rich that I was sent

By a pocket borough into Parliament

I always voted at my party's call

And I never thought of thinking for myself at all

He never thought of thinking for himself at all.

I thought so little, they rewarded me

By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navy

He thought so little, they rewarded he

By making him the Ruler of the Queen's Navy

Now landsmen all, whoever you may be

If you want to rise to the top of the tree

If your soul isn't fettered to an office stool

Be careful to be guided by this golden rule

Be careful to be guided by this golden rule.

Stick close to your desks and never go to sea,

And you all may be rulers of the Queen's Navy

Stick close to your desks and never go to sea

And you all may be rulers of the Queen's Navy

Lyrics courtesy of www.sailorsongs.com

 
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