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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Joe Offer Lyr Add: Songs from HMS Pinafore (25) ADD: When I Was a Lad (HMS Pinafore) 18 Sep 05


When I was in college, I did lights for a production of HMS Pinafore. The spotlight man and I sat up in the light booth, singing along loudly with all the songs until the director yelled, "Shut up!" I was in a Catholic seminary, so we had guys playing the female parts. I never felt comfortable with that, and the guy who played Buttercup was just a bit too believable. Still, I had a great time with that play.

You'll find the entire libretto, with lyrics, here (click). I guess my favorite song from Pinafore is "When I Was a Lad":


SONG -- SIR JOSEPH

          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.
               I polished up that handle so carefullee
               That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.--He polished, etc.

          As office boy I made such a mark
          That 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--
               I copied all the letters in a hand so free,
               That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.- He copied, etc.

          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,
               And that pass examination did so well for me,
               That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.--And that pass examination, etc.

          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.
               But that kind of ship so suited me,
               That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.- But that kind, etc.

          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.
               I thought so little, they rewarded me
               By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!

CHORUS.- He thought so little, etc.

          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--
               Stick close to your desks and never go to sea,
               And you all may be rulers of the Queen's Navee!


I sing it at sea song sessions, which probably isn't appropriate - but I like that song.

-Joe Offer-


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