An Ex-Sailor's Life

Words and Music: Tom Lewis
(Recorded by Tom Lewis on Mixed Cargo)

When I was just a little lad I thought I'd like to go to sea,
I became a sailor for a quarter of a century.
Served in diesel and in steam, on surface ships and submarines,
When you've heard m' story, I'm sure that you will see:

That an ex-sailorman is the only thing I want to be,
Rather cruise a country-road than sail upon the stormy sea,
I'd rather stand on solid ground than on a deck that heaves around,
an ex-sailor's life is the life for me!

I never heard a shanty but the diesels sounded just as sweet,
There was lots of comradeship you didn't find on civvy-street,
When the seas were running high I often wished that I could die,
A seasick sailorman - such a wretched thing to be.
I'd rather drink m' tea in bed than leave m' breakfast in the head,
an ex-sailor's life is the life for me!

I drank the wine, saw the sights, chased the girls in every port,
San Francisco to Hong Kong, Buenos Aires to New York,
I was never satisfied 'til I found m' self a bride,
Who didn't want a sailorman, she only wanted me.
She'd rather have me in her arms than sampling another's charms,
an ex-sailor's life is the life for me!

And after all this time I don't know what the hell I did it for,
It used to seem a good idea, looking back I'm not so sure,
But if I hadn't served my time , couldn't really say that I'm,
An ex-sailorman who's never going back to sea.
Aboard I used to draw m' tot, but given the chance I'd rather not,
an ex-sailor's life is the life for me!

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