Sacred Texts  Index  Previous  Next 



                          *             
                                        
                    JOHN BARLEYCORN     
                                        
  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!           
  John Barleycorn should die!           
                  (nb: 4th line of each verse is sung twice)
                                        
  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!             
                                        
  CHORUS: Fa la la la, it's a lovely day!
          Sing fa la la lay oh!         
          Fa la la la, it's a lovely day!
          Sing fa la la lay oh!         
                                        
  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! 
                                        
  They have wheeled him here and wheeled him there
  And wheeled him to a barn,            
  And they have served him worse than that
  They have bunged him in a vat!        
                                        
                  (more)                
                                                                                



                    John Barleycorn (cont.)                 
                                        
  They have worked their will on John Barleycorn
  But he lived to tell the tale;        
  For they pour him out of an old brown jug,
  And they call him home-brewed ale!    
                                        
  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!              
                                        
(Note: sing the chorus after every other verse or so. Encourage the group
to join the song)                       
                                        
                          *             
                                                                            2308


Next: False Knight Upon The Road, The (Child #3)