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John Barleycorn

by Traffic from the album John Barleycorn Must Die

There were three men came out of the west
Their fortunes for to find
And these three men made a solemn vow
Over poor John Barleycorn
They plowed, they howed, they harrowed him
They threw clods on his head
Until these men were satisfied
John Barleycorn was dead

They let him lie for a very long time
Until the rains from heaven did fall
And little Sir John raised up his head
And so amazed them all
They let him stand until midsummers day
Til he looked both pale and worn
And little Sir John's grown a long, long beard
And so become a man

Then they hired men with scythes so sharp
To cut him off at the knee
And they've rolled and tied him by the waist
Serving him most barbarously
They hired men with sharp pitch forks
Who pierced him to his heart
But the loader served him worse than that
For he's bound him to the cart

They wheeled him around and around in a field
Til they came unto a barn
There these men renewed their oaths
Over poor John Barleycorn
They hired men with crab tree sticks
To flay his flesh from bone
The miller served him worst in the last
For he ground him between two stones

Lttle Sir John in his nut brown bowl
Now he's brandy in my glass
Little Sir John in his nut brown bowl
Prove the strongest man in the last
For the huntsman can't hunt the fox
Nor so proudly sound his horn
And the tinker can't mend kettle or pot
Without a little Barleycorn

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