There were three men, came out of the west,
their fortunes for to try
and these three men made a solemn vow:
john barleycorn must die!
well, they've ploughed,
they've sown, the've harrowed him in.
threw clouds upon his head.
till these three men were satisfied.
john barleycorn was dead.
they've let him lie for a long long time,
till the rains from heaven did fall.
And little sir john sprang up his head
and so amazed them all.
they let him fly till the midsummer's day,
till he looked both pale and wan, oh,
then little sir john has grown a long long beard
and so became a man.
They have hired men with the scythes so sharp.
to cut him off at the knee,
they rolled and they tied him around the waist,
serving him most him barbarously.
they hired men with the sharp pitchforks
to prick him to the heart.
and the loader he has served him worse than that,
for he's bound him to the cart.
Well, they've wheeled him 'round and 'round the field,
till they came onto a barn.
and there they made their solemn oath,
concerning a barleycorn.
they hired men with the crab tree sticks
to split him skin from bone, yeah,
but the miller he has served him worst and bad
for he ground him between two stones.
Well there's beer all in the barrel
and brandy in the glass,
but little old sir john with his nut-brown bowl
proved the strongest man at last.
john barleycorn, throw him up, throw him up!
Now the huntsman, he can't hunt the fox,
nor loudly blow his horn
and the tinker he can't mend his pots
without john barleycorn,
john barleycorn, john barleycorn,
john barleycorn, john barleycorn.