John Reed enthusiastically performs this widely recognized and popular Gilbert and Sullivan song from 'H.M.S. Pinafore'. Dame Bridget D'Oyly directed the recording of this 1978 album. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted here by Sir Malcolm Sargent.
Watch videos with other singers performing When I was a lad:
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!