Old Admirals

Album: Past, Present And Future (1973)
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  • I can well recall the first time I ever put to sea
    It was on the old 'Calcutta' in 1853
    I was just a lad of fourteen years, a midshipman to be
    To make my way in sailing ships of the Royal Navy

    By the time that I was twenty-one I'd sailed the world around
    Weathered storms in the China seas with the hatches battened down
    And made my way by starlight off the coast of Newfoundland
    And dined on beer and herrings while the waves blew all around

    I live in retirement now
    And through my window comes the sound of seagulls
    And sets my mind remembering
    The evening stars like memories sail far beyond the distant trees
    Way out across the open seas
    I hear them sing

    Oh the wooden ships they turned to iron and the iron ships to steel
    And shed their sails like autumn leaves with the turning of the wheel
    And I was given captain's rank and soon took under me
    The proudest ship that ever sailed for queen and country

    Ah, the old queen she passed away with the new born century
    And I received my calling up to the admiralty
    The sands ran through the hourglass each day more rapidly
    As we watched the growing of the fleets of high Germany

    So at last the Great War blazed
    I waited with the passing days
    The call to arms that never came
    Writing letters

    I may be old now in your eyes
    But all my years have made me wise
    You don't see where the danger lies
    Oh call me back, call me back

    But the war it ran its course, they could find no use for me
    And I live in the country now, grandchildren on my knee
    And sometimes think in all this world the saddest thing to be
    Old admirals who feel the wind, and never put to sea

    Now just like you I've sailed my dreams like ships across the sea
    And some of them they've come on rocks, and some faced mutiny
    And when they're sunken one by one I'll join that company
    Old admirals who feel the wind, and never put to sea Writer/s: ALISTAIR IAN STEWART
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 4

  • Guy from Woodinville, WaYou know, as the years go by, it has moved very, very high on my list, too. Partially no doubt, from being addicted to Patrick Obrian's novels.
  • Bill from San Francisco, CaAl has said in concerts that this may be his favorite song he has written.
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaAnother great British sea song by Al, rather sad and wistful.
  • Billy from New Port Richey, FlAlways oved this song and its album, this and Modern Times really propelled me onto the Al bandwagon in the early seventies. Billy npr fl
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