John Barleycorn

Conductor Notes:

from Folk Songs of the Four Seasons


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.




There came three men from out the West

Their victory to try,

And they have taken a solemn oath

John Barleycorn should die


Sing right fol lol the diddle al the dee,

Right fol lee ro dee.

They took a plough and ploughed him in,

Laid clods upon his head:

And they have taken a solemn oath

John Barleycorn is dead.

So then he lay for three long weeks

Till the dew from heaven did fall:

John Barleycorn sprang up again

And that surprised them all.

There he remained till midsummer

And looked both pale and wan,

For all he had a spiky beard

To shew he was a man.

But soon came men with their sharp scythes

And chopped him to the knee,

They rolled and tied him by the waist

And served him barbarously.

We’ll tip white wine into a glass

And scarlet into a can,

John Barleycorn and his brown bowl

Shall prove the better man.