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 . . . 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