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John Barleycorn

Subway To Sally

There were three farmers in the north, as they were passing by
they swore an oath so mighty oh that Barleycorn should die
one of them said: drown him and the other sad: hang him high
for whoever will stick to Barleycorn a-begging he will die

they put poor Barley into a sack an a cold an rainy day
and took him out to cornfields and buried him in the clay
frost and snow began to melt and dew began to fall
when Barleygrain put up his head and he soon surprised them all

being in the summer season and the harvest coming on
it‘s the time he stands up in the field with a beard like any man
„the reaper then came with his sickle and used me barberously
he cut me in the middle so small and he cut me above the knee

the next came was the binder and he looked at me with a frown
for in the middle there was a thistle which pulled his courage down
the farmer came with his pitch fork and he pierced me to the heart
like a thief, a rogue or a highwayman they tied me to the cart

the thresher came with his big flail and soon he broke my bones
could grieve the heart of any man to hear my sighs and moans
the next thing that they‘ve done to me they steeped me in the well
they left me there for a day and night until I began to swell

and next thing that they‘ve done to me they dried me in a kiln
they used me ten times worse, than that they ground me in the mill
they used me in the kichen, they used me in the hall
oh they used me in the parlour among the ladies all

the Barleygrain is a comical grain, it makes men sigh and moan
for when they drink a glass or two they forget their wives and home
the drunkard is a dirty man, he used me worst of all
he drank me up in his dirty mouth an he tumbled against the wall“

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