John Barleycorn Must Die! An Old English Folktale 🌾

Within a Witches Wood

John Barleycorn must die! sung here by the pagan band Willow’s Drum. An old British folk song believed to date back to Queen Elisabeth the 1st reign, possibly earlier. This version, although not the first and surley not the last, is the one most remembered to date. By Scottish poet Robert Burns in 1782:

There was three kings unto the east,
Three kings both great and high,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.

They took a plough and plough’d him down,
Put clods upon his head,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.

But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
And show’rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surpris’d them all.

The sultry suns of Summer came,
And he grew thick and strong;
His head weel arm’d wi’ pointed spears,
That no one should him wrong.


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By GrannyMoon Posted in Pagan

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