John Barleycorn – The Watersons

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’ve ploughed, they’ve sown, they’ve harrowed him in,
Throwed clods on his head.
And these three men made a solemn vow:
John Barleycorn was dead.

They’ve let him lie for a very long time
Till the rain from hea’en did fall,
And little Sir John sprung up his head
And soon amazed them all.
They’ve let him stand till midsummer day
Till he looked both pale and wan.
And little Sir John’s grown a long, long beard
And so become a man.

They’ve hired men with the scythes so sharp
To cut him off at the knee.
They’ve rolled him and tied him by the waist,
Serving him most barbarously.
They’ve hired men with the sharp pitchforks
Who pricked him to the heart.
And the loader, he served him worse than that
For he’s bound him to the cart.

They’ve wheeled him round and around the field
Till they came into the barn
And there they’ve made a solemn mow
Of poor John Barleycorn.
They’ve hired men with the crab tree sticks
To cut him skin from bone,
And the miller, he has served him worse than that
For he’s ground him between two stones.

Here’s little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl
And here’s brandy in the glass
And little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl
Proved the strongest man at last.
For the huntsman, he can’t hunt the fox
Nor so loudly to blow his horn,
And the tinker, he can’t mend kettles nor pots
Without a little barley corn.

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