John Barleycorn

Released on the album "John Barleycorn Must Die" in 1970 on Island Records.
Words and music traditional, arranged by Steve Winwood.



    capo 7th fret  (chords relative)

D   C   G   Am A5      Am A5
D   C   G   Am A5      Am A5


       D         Am        C  G       Am A5   Am A5
There were three men came out of the west

      D     C   Am G   Am A5     Am A5
Their fortunes for to try

      D          Am        C  G   Am A5   Am A5
And these three men made a solemn vow

     D  C  Am    G   Am A5     Am A5
John Barleycorn must die

C                                    Am       Am7  Am
They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in

       C     D       Esus4         E Esus4 E
Threw clods upon his head

    Dm          Am         C  G   Am A5   Am A5
And these three men made a solemn vow

     D  C  Am    G   Am A5   Am A5
John Barleycorn must die

    D   C  G   Am A5      Am A5  (repeat 3 times)

They let him lie for a very long time
Till the rains from heaven did fall
And little Sir John sprung up his head
And so amazed them all
They let him stand 'til mid summer's day
'til he looked both pale and wan
And little Sir John's grown a long, long beard
And so become a man

They've hired men with scythes so sharp
To cut him off at the knee
They rolled him and tied him by the waist
Serving him most barbarously
They've hired men with sharp pitch forks
Who pricked him to the heart...
And the loader he has served him worse than that
For he's bound him to the cart


They've wheeled him around and around in the field
'til they came onto a barn
And there they made a solemn oath
On poor John Barleycorn
They've hired men with the crab tree sticks
to cut him skin from bone
And the miller he has served him worse than that
For he's ground him between two stones

And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl
And his brandy in the glass
And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl
Proved the strongest man at last
The huntsman, he can't hunt the fox
Nor so loudly to blow his horn
And the Tinker he can't mend kettle nor pots
Without a little Barleycorn

Smiling Phases