It's been 3 years since our last fund-raising drive. Help us keep the Archive free to the public. Your donation will fund the ongoing development of the world's oldest and largest online database of vocal texts and translations.

by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
Translation by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

John Barleycorn
Language: English  after the English 
Available translation(s): DUT
There came three men from out the West
Their victory to try,
And they have taken a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.

  Sing right follol the diddle all the dee
  Right folleero dee.

They took a plough and ploughed him in
Laid clods upon his head
And they have taken a solemn oath
John Barleycorn is dead.

So then he lay for three long weeks
Till the dew from heaven did fall,
John Barleycorn sprang up again
And that surprised them all.

There he remained till midsummer
And looked both pale and wan,
For all he had a spikey beard
To shew he was a man.

But soon came men with their sharp scythes
And chopped him to the knee
They rolled and tied him by the waist
And served him barbarously.

We'll tip white wine into a glass
And scarlet into a can
John Barleycorn and his brown bowl
Shall prove the better man.


Based on:

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

Researcher for this text: Lidy van Noordenburg

This text was added to the website: 2010-01-31
Line count: 27
Word count: 157