Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:
Oats and BeansDESCRIPTION: Playparty ."Oats, (peas/and), beans, and barley grow... Do you or I or anyone know... How oats and beans and barley grow." The farmer plants the seed and waits for harvest; young couples marry and must obey each other.
EARLIEST DATE: 1898 (Gomme)
KEYWORDS: playparty marriage farming
FOUND IN: Britain(England(All))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Linscott, pp. 46-47, "On the Green Carpet" (1 text, 1 tune, which seems to mix "Green Carpet" and "Oats and Beans)
DT, OATSBEAN (OATSPEAS*)
Oats, Peas, Beans
Oats and Beans and Barley Grow
Notes: Gomme has a table (Volume II, p. 11) showing the distribution of the various crops: Oats, beans, barley, wheat, groats, hops. The second Digital Tradition version comes close to the status of parody. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2006 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.
from Joe Offer: For the sake of completeness, here is the other Digital Tradition version, which is quite different:
OATS AND BEANS AND BARLEY
Oats and beans and barley grows
As you and I and everyone knows
You and I and everyone knows
Where oats and beans and barley grows
CHO: Oh, waiting for a partner
Open the ring and take one in
And kiss them when you get them in
First the farmer sows the seed
And then the farmer takes his ease
Stamps his foot and claps his hand
And turns around to view the land
Do you want a partner?
Do you want a partner?
For if you do, you must be true
And choose him very shortly
Now you're married, you must obey
You must be true to all you say
You must be kind and very good
And help your wife to chop the wood.
recorded by John and Tony on Mellow with Ale
Peace says he sees two songs "conflated" here - apparently a combination of "Oats: and "Come, my love, and go with me" - I dunno. They seem like more-or-less the same song to me. Now, the Ballad Index says that Linscott 'conflates' "Oats" and "Green Carpet." I can never find Linscott because it's a skinny book. Anybody have it, and can you post the version from Linscott?
Oh, and is the John-and-Tony version available on CD, or could John come over and expain it to us?
As a kid in Detroit in the 1950's, I learned:
Oats peas beans and barley growThat's it - no verses. Who needs verses? Verses are for GIRLS.
Oats peas beans and barley grow
And you and I and everyone know
How oats peas beans and barley grow