I'd like to be a sailor - a sailor bold and bluff -
Calling out, "Ship ahoy!" in manly tones and gruff.
I'd learn to box the compass, and to reef and tack and luff;
I'd sniff and sniff the briny breeze and never get enough.
Perhaps I'd chew tobacco, or an old black pipe I'd puff,
But I wouldn't be a sailor if ...
The sea was very rough.
I'd like to be a porter, and always on the run,
Calling out, "Stand aside!" and asking leave of none.
Shoving trucks on people's toes, and having splendid fun,
Slamming all the carriage doors and locking every one -
And, when they asked to be let in, I'd say, "It can't be done."
But I wouldn't be a porter if ...
The luggage weighed a ton.
I'd like to be a Pieman, and ring a little bell,
Calling out, "Hot pies! Hot pies to sell!"
Apple-pies and Meat-pies, Cherry-pies as well,
Lots and lots and lots of pies - more than you can tell.
Big, rich Pork-pies! Oh, the lovely smell!
But I wouldn't be a Pieman if ...
I wasn't very well.
I'd like to be a barber, and learn to shave and clip,
Calling out, "Next please! and pocketing my tip."
All day I'd hear my scissors going, "Snip, Snip, Snip;"
I'd lather people's faces, and their noses I would grip
While I shaved most carefully along the upper lip.
But I wouldn't be a barber if ...
The razor was to slip.
I'd like to be a teacher, and have a clever brain,
Calling out, "Attention, please!" and "Must I speak in vain?"
I'd be quite strict with boys and girls whose minds I had to train,
And all the books and maps and things I'd carefully explain;
I'd make then learn the dates of kings, and all the capes of Spain;
But I wouldn't be a teacher if ...
I couldn't use the cane.
I'd like to be a postman, and walk along the street,
Calling out, "Good Morning, Sir," to gentlemen I meet,
Ringing every door-bell all along my beat,
In my cap and uniform so very nice and neat.
Perhaps I'd have a parasol in case of rain or heat;
But I wouldn't be a postman if ...
The walking hurt my feet.
I'd like to be a baker, and come when morning breaks,
Calling out, "Beeay-ko!" (that's the sound he makes) -
Riding in a rattle-cart that jogs and jolts and shakes,
Selling all the sweetest things a baker ever bakes;
Currant-buns and brandy-snaps, pastry all in flakes;
But I wouldn't be a baker if ...
I couldn't eat the cakes.