Fairport Convention - John's Reflection On His Boyhood... Lyrics

Little did I think when the judge first spoke
Those awful words to me
That I would feel again the cold winds blow
And a heart would beat in 'Babbacombe' Lee

I was born to lead a life of sorrow
(I've seen friends hang their heads in shame)
Growing tired and weary of the morrow
Tortured by my terrible name

When I was fifteen, my father called to me
Saying "Now you are a man and all men work
There's a lady and they say her name's Miss Keyes
Her pony's very old, it needs a nurse"

For eighteen months I worked for her about The Glen
(She was like a mother to me)
But time goes slowly when you're thinking wishfully
(Of all the other places to be)

There were boats drifting in the harbour
There were sailors talking in the town
That's the life for a boy who wants to wander
For a man who doesn't want to settle down

I was sixteen now and full of life, life was full of things to see
Grown up in my little town and only seen Torquay

So it's off I went to Newton Abbot to get myself the deeds to sign
My father took them and tore them up, saying "That's no life for a boy of mine"

"John, my son, don't join the Navy, there's no good in it, I know
Plant your seeds on solid ground and watch your harvest grow
John, my son, don't join the Navy, that's clay that's underneath your skin
John, my son, don't join the Navy, don't go leaving your kith and kin"

A boy must breathe and search some hearts or call himself a failure
So I would see some foreign shores and I would be a sailor
So I went off to my mother for a week or more and wiled and wheeled and won my way
Father put the pen to paper in the fields at lunch the very next day

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