The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #14888   Message #2209280
Posted By: GUEST,JC
05-Dec-07 - 02:23 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Meaning of John Barleycorn
Subject: RE: Meaning of John Barleycorn
I think the mystical bit is mainly an American academic thing; Phillips Barry appears to have been the main culprit in his note to 'The Lakes of Col Finn' in The New Green Mountain Songster (Yale 1939), but I have encountered it elsewhere.
Agree with you entirely about it being a straightforward drowning ballad; in fact one version is referenced to an actual location in Northern Ireland (think this is in Sam Henry's 'Songs of The People').
Jim Carroll