John Barleycorn

Words and Music by: Traditional

There were three men come out of the West
Their fortunes for to try,
And these three men made a solemn vow:
John Barleycorn should die!

They plowed, they sowed, they harrowed him in,
Threw clods upon his head,
And these three men made a solemn vow:
John Barleycorn was dead!

They let him lie for a very long time
'Til the rain from Heaven did fall,
Then Little Sir John sprung up his head,
And so amazed them all!

They let him stand 'til Midsummer tide,
'Til he grew both pale and wan,
Then Little Sir John he grew a long beard,
And so became a man!

They hired men with the sythes so sharp
To cut him off at the knee
They rolled him and tied him about the waist,
And used him barbarously!

They hired men with the sharp pitchforks
To pierce him to the heart,
And the loader he served him worse than that,
For he tied him in a cart!

They wheeled him around and around the field,
Til they came to a barn,
And there they made a solemn mow
Of poor John Barleycorn,

They hired men with the crab-tree sticks
To strip him skin from bone
And the Miller he served him worse than that:
For he ground him between two stones!

Here's Little Sir John in a nut-brown bowl,
And brandy in a glass!
And Little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl
Proved the stronger man at last!

For the huntsman he can't hunt the fox
Nor loudly blow his horn,
And the tinker can't mend kettles nor pots
Without John Barleycorn!

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