Gilbert & Sullivan – When I Was A Lad I Served A Term Lyrics


Chorus. (Ralph steps
forward.)
Sir Joseph. I can hum a little, your honour. Boatswain. That you are their captain is an accident of birth. It is a fine crew, Sir Joseph. Captain Corcoran. It is
designed to encourage independence of thought and
action in the
ower branches of the service, and to teach the
principle that a
British sailor is any man’s equal, excepting mine. (Exit.) Sir Joseph. He polished up the handle of the big front door. If you please, your honour. Chorus. Chorus. (stamping his foot impatiently)
If you please! That’s a pity: all sailors should dance hornpipes. You are the last person who did, Captain Corcoran. And a first-rate seaman, I’ll be bound. Now,
Captain
Corcoran, a word with you in your cabin, on a tender
and
sentimental subject. Sir Joseph. Captain Corcoran. Boatswain. 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. Chorus. If what? Captain Corcoran. Beg pardon. For the pass examination at the Institute. I like to hear you speak well of your commanding
officer;
I daresay he don’t deserve it, but still it does you
credit. Captain Corcoran. Captain Corcoran. Captain Corcoran. Captain Corcoran. Chorus. That pass examination did so well for he,
That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! Captain Corcoran. Sir Joseph. (Giving him MS. He polished up that handle so carefullee,
That now he is the ruler of the Queen’s Navee! Sir Joseph. I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough into Parliament. Captain Corcoran. Aye; Aye! Then hum this at your leisure. Chorus. No bullying, I trust ‒ no strong language of any
kind, eh? No, your honour. What! He copied all the letters in a big round hand. I always voted at my party’s call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all. (Dick comes forward)
No, no, the other splendid seaman. Ralph. Of legal knowledge I acquired such a grip
That they took me into the partnership. Ralph. Captain Corcoran. 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. (sternly)
If what? Now tell me ‒
don’t be
afraid ‒ how does your captain treat you, eh? Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. A better captain don’t walk the deck, your honour. Chorus. They are an excellent crew,
and do
their work thoroughly without it. Ralph. Sir Joseph. I
will teach
you one this evening, after dinner. music.)
It is a
song that I have composed for the use of the Royal
Navy. And that junior partnership, I ween,
Was the only ship that I ever had seen. Chorus. If you please. He copied all the letters in a hand so free,
That now he is the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to an Attorney’s firm. DIALOGUE
Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. Can you
dance
a hornpipe? I hope you treat your crew kindly, Captain Corcoran. That pass examination did so well for me,
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! What, never? Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. He thought so little, they rewarded he
By making him the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. I polished up that handle so carefullee
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! Sir Joseph. Good. Captain Corcoran. I am the last person to insult a British sailor, Sir
Joseph. Stick close to your desks and never go to sea,
And you all may be rulers of the Queen’s Navee! Oh, yes, of course. Captain Corcoran. The gentleman is quite right. Sir Joseph. Ralph Rackstraw, three paces to the front ‒ march! If you please. Sir Joseph. Not at all. Captain Corcoran. I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
And I polished up the handle of the big front door. He never thought of thinking for himself at all. So I have always considered them, Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. I beg your pardon — I don’t think I understand you. Aye, aye, Sir Joseph. Can you sing? But that kind of ship so suited me,
That now I am the ruler of the Queen’s Navee! Chorus. Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. I don’t think I understand you. There’s not a smarter topman in the Navy, your honour,
though I say it who shouldn’t. Captain Corcoran. Be careful to be guided by this golden rule. All. Chorus. I thought so little, they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! You’ve a remarkably fine crew, Captain Corcoran. Hardly ever, Sir Joseph. But that kind of ship so suited he,
That now he is the ruler of the Queen’s Navee! Sir Joseph. You’re a remarkably fine fellow. Desire
that splendid seaman to step forward. Sir Joseph. Captain Corcoran. Chorus. Proper self-respect, nothing more. Oh, never, Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. Never forget that they are the bulwarks of England’s
greatness,
Captain Corcoran. I served the writs with a smile so bland,
And I copied all the letters in a big round hand. If what, your honour? Stick close to your desks and never go to sea,
And you all may be rulers of the Queen’s Navee! Yes, your honour. I
cannot permit
these noble fellows to be patronised because an
accident of birth
has placed you above them and them below you. Was the only ship that he ever had seen. Ralph. Don’t patronise them, sir ‒ pray, don’t patronise
them. Sir Joseph. Indeed I hope so, Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. Sir Joseph. (examining a very small midshipman)
A British sailor is a splendid fellow, Captain
Corcoran. A splendid fellow indeed, Sir Joseph. Henry Lytton as Sir Joseph 1920
Sir Joseph. I copied all the letters in a hand so free,
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee! If you please. As office boy I made such a mark
That they gave me the post of a junior clerk. (Crossing) Boatswain, in
commemoration
of this joyous occasion, see that extra grog is served
out to the
ship’s company at seven bells. Ralph. Sir Joseph. Certainly not, Sir Joseph. Chorus.