Origins: John Barleycorn by Gordon Bok
JOHN BARLEYCORN (2)
JOHN BARLEYCORN, MY JO
JOHN BARLEYCORN: A BALLAD
Lyr ADD: Barleycorn (Songwainers) (32)
Twisted roots of John Barleycorn... (10)
Tune Req: John Barleycorn - John Renbourn Group (2)
Idiot's lyric Q: TYT's 'John Barleycorn' (3)
(origins) Origins: John Barleycorn - But collected from Who (16)
John Barleycorn Recipe (7)
Obit: John Barleycorn (34)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Barleycorn (from The Johnstons (18)
Lyr Add: John Barleycorn (Jon Berger, Stan Rogers) (9)
(origins) Origins: Meaning of John Barleycorn (91)
Tune Req: The Barleycorn (Ron Kavana) (17)
Tune Req: Hey John Barleycorn (Davey Arthur?) (3)
John Barleycorn 'Two Brothers' version (5)
(origins) Origins: John Barleycorn Must Die (27)
John Barleycorn in USA? (6)
Folklore: Odd Minstrel Song = John Barleycorn (?) (7)
Lyr Req: J. Barleycorn/Weploughthefields&scatter (4)
Lyr Req: John Barleycorn (13)
Illustrated John BarleyCorn (3)
Chords Req: John Barleycorn (32)
Lyr Req: John Barleycorn (3) (closed)
Penguin: John Barleycorn (15)
Tune Req: The Barleycorn (Ron Kavana) (14)
Tune Req: John Barleycorn (from Traffic) (11)
John Barleycorn (11)
Subject: Origins: John Barleycorn by Gordon Bok|
Date: 02 Sep 19 - 10:05 PM
The recording "So Will We Yet" (1990) by Gordon Bok, Ann Muir and Ed Trickett - has an unusual version of John Barleycorn.....does anyone know where this version comes from - is it Traditional or a written piece.....??
Subject: ADD: John Barleycorn (Brown & Bok)|
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Sep 19 - 11:00 PM
Hi, Tim - Yes, I've always wondered about that track. A recording is now available at YouTube:
And Folk-Legacy recordings like this one are now available at Smithsonian-Folkways:
And Glory Be, the liner notes are available for download:
Gordon Bok's notes: I found this version of the old "John Barleycorn" in George Mackay Brown's An Orkney Tapestry, among other traditional poems and songs. It wasn't clear in the book, but it is my guess that, because of the style and poetry of it, this is not a traditional version, but Mr. Brown's own personal version. I built the tune for it in 1986, including the variations which allow it to follow the words more closely.
(Words by George Mackay Brown*, Melody by Gordon Bok)
As I was plowing my field
The hungriest furrow ever torn
Followed my plow, and she did cry,
"Have you seen my mate, John Barleycorn?"
Says I, "Has he got a yellow beard?
Is he always whispering, night and morn?
Does he up and dance when the wind is high?"
Says she, "That's my John Barleycorn.
"One day they took a cruel knife
(Oh, I am weary and forlorn);
They struck him at his golden prayer
And they killed my priest, John Barleycorn.
"They laid him on a wooden cart,
Of all his summer glory shorn,
And threshers broke, with stick and stave,
The shining bones of Barleycorn.
"The miller's stone went 'round and 'round;
They rolled him underneath with scorn.
The miller filled a hundred sacks
With the crushed pride of John Barleycorn.
"The baker came by and bought his dust.
(That was a madman, I'll be sworn.)
They burned my hero in a rage
Of twisting flames, my Barleycorn.
"The brewer came by and stole his heart.
(Alas, that I was ever born!)
They thrust it in a brimming vat
And drowned my dear John Barleycorn.
"And now I travel narrow roads;
My hungry feet are dark and worn,
But no one in this winter world
Has seen my dancer, Barleycorn."
I took a bannock from my bag,
Lord, how her empty mouth did yawn.
Says I, "Your starving days are done,
For here's your lost John Barleycorn."
I took a bottle from my pouch,
I poured out whiskey in a horn.
Says I, "Put by your grief,
for here Is the merry blood of Barleycorn."
She ate, she drank, she laughed, she danced,
And home with me she did return.
By candle light, in my old straw bed,
She wept no more for Barleycorn.
Melody ©1986 by Gordon Bok
Ed & Ann: vocals; Gordon: 'cellamba.
*(Bok spells the name George McKay Brown, which is incorrect.)