John Barleycorn Must Die

from Hang Me Out to Dry by Trip McCool

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lyrics

There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn must die
They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in
Threw clods upon his head
And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn was dead

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

Then came the men with their scythes so sharp, to cut him at the knee
They've rolled and tied him by the waist, to serve most barbarously
They've hired men with their sharp pitchforks,
Who've 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 round and around a field 'til they came onto a pond
And there they made a solemn oath, on poor John Barleycorn
They've hired men with their crabtree sticks to beat 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, his brandy in the glass
And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl, the strongest man at last
The huntsman he can't hunt the fox no more, nor loudly blow his horn
And the tinker he can't mend, the kettle or the pots without a little Barleycorn

credits

from Hang Me Out to Dry, released February 17, 2020

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Trip McCool Holly Springs, North Carolina

I put on the guitar and sing as if my ancestors were listening; and I truly believe they are so I better not disappoint them. Trip is the part of my soul that never forgot the sacrifices they made. My people rose up from the Irish mud to make a better life for me. I write songs for them, for my people, the immigrants, the poor, the salt of the earth. It's all true, even the lies. ... more

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