There were three men come out of the West
Their fortunes for to try,
And these three men made a solemn vow:
John Barleycorn must die!
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!

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 day,
'Til he looked both pale and wan,
Then Little Sir John grew a long 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,
Serving him most barbarously!
They hired men with the sharp pitchforks
To pierce him to the heart,
And the loader he has served him far worse than that,
For he's bound him to 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 holly clubs
To beat him skin from bone
And the Miller he has served him far worse than that:
For he's ground him between two stones!

Mmm, Barleycorn is the sweetest grain
That ever was sown on land
'Twill do more than any grain
Just by the tipping of your hand
'Twill turn a boy into a man
And a man into an ass
Your gold to silver it will change
And your silver into brass

'Twill put the priest to sleep at night
Raise the nobleman in the morn
'Twill bring the soldier to the stocks
Where all men may do him scorn
Twill put sak into the glass
And claret in the can
And 'twill cause a man to drink
Til he can neither go nor stand

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!