John Barleycorn Lyrics

Steeleye Span


publisher: ©Universal Music Publishing Group
writers: Steve Winwood
album: Track 8 in album Below the Salt
release date: 1972
popularity : 10 users have visited this page.
genres: Rock Folk, World, & Country
styles: Folk Rock
length: 4:48

Cover Art

Steeleye Span Below the Salt cover art
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There were three men
Came from the west
Their fortunes for to tell,
And the life of John Barleycorn
As well.

They laid him in three furrows deep,
Laid clods upon his head,
Then these three man made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn was dead.

The let him die for a very long time
Till the rain from heaven did fall,
Then little Sir John sprang up his head
And he did amaze them all.

They let him stand till the midsummer day,
Till he looked both pale and wan.
The little Sir John he grew a long beard
And so became a man.

They have hired men with the scythes so sharp,
To cut him off at the knee,
The rolled him and they tied him around the waist,
They served him barbarously.

They have hired men with the crab-tree sticks,
To cut him skin from bone,
And the miller has served him worse than that,
For he's ground him between two stones.

They've wheeled him here, they've wheeled him there,
They've wheeled him to a barn,
And thy have served him worse than that,
They've bunged him in a vat.

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.


Track Listing


12" Vinyl 1
  • 1 Spotted Cow
  • 2 Rosebud in June
  • 3 Jigs: The Bride's Favorite, Tansey's Fancy
  • 4 Sheep-Crook and Black Dog
  • 5 Royal Forester
  • 6 King Henry
  • 7 Gaudete
  • 8 John Barleycorn
  • 9 Saucy Sailor