"John Barleycorn"
music and lyrics arranged by Ian Anderson

A Little Light Music (1972), 36 Greatest Hits (1998)

There were three men, came out of the west
Their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solumn vow
John Barleycorn must die
They's plowed, they'd sowed
They'd harrowed him in
Thrown clods upon his head, yeah
Till these three men were satisfied
John Barleycorn was dead
They 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
Well they let him lie to the midsummers day
Till he looked both pale and wan
Now little Sir John has grown
A long, long beard and so became a man
They hired men with the scythes so sharp
To cut him off at the knee
They rolled him and tied him around the waist
Served him most barbarously
Well the hired men with the sharp pitch forks
To prick him to the heart, yeah, oh
And the loader he has served him
Worse than that
For he bound him to a cart
Well they wheeled him around
And round the field
Till they came unto a barn
And there they made their solumn oath
Concerning the Barleycorn
Well the hired men with their crab tree sticks
To split him skin from bone, yeah
But the miller, he had served him
Worse than that
For he ground him between two stones
Well there's beer all in the barrel
And brandy in the glass
But little Sir John with his nut brown bowl
Proved the stronger man at last
John Barleycorn, throw him up, throw him up
Well the huntsmen he can't hunt the fox
Nor loudly blow his horn
And the ticker, he can't mend his heart
Without John Barleycorn
Yeah John Barleycorn