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John Barleycorn in USA?

13 Aug 07 - 06:55 PM (#2124806)
Subject: John Barleycorn in USA?
From: Dave Ruch

The song "John Barleycorn" seems to have been rarely reported on the American side of the ocean, from what I can tell. I just came across a NY version collected by Helen Hartness Flanders somewhere between 1929-35, and it seemed odd to find it there. Does anyone know of other versions collected in America?

I did check the Roud Index, which has the one NY + one VT version. I also went through all of the related threads here, but didn't see anything specifically on this.

13 Aug 07 - 07:03 PM (#2124812)
Subject: RE: John Barleycorn in USA?
From: Leadfingers

My Favourite arrangement is English Country Blues Band's arrangement ! Words , Trad English , Tune , Stackolee !
He's a Strong Man , John Barleycorn !

13 Aug 07 - 07:35 PM (#2124824)
Subject: RE: John Barleycorn in USA?
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego

I've not heard a song by that name. However, in a historical context, "John Barleycorn," used as a metaphor for liquor and its evils and/or benefits, ranks right up there with "Red Eye," "Who Hit/Struck John," "Old Reliable," "Tongue Oil" and "Demon Rum" - not to forget the evergreen "Booze." Surely, there is a song containing the term, if not an actual eponymous hymn in praise of old "J.B".

01 Dec 07 - 05:47 PM (#2206476)
Subject: RE: John Barleycorn in USA?


01 Dec 07 - 06:42 PM (#2206504)
Subject: RE: John Barleycorn in USA?
From: Severn

It's been collected from Canada under the title "The Barley Grain" by Edith Fowke from O. J. Abbott and aside from issues of her field collections best tracked down in Canadian release by Canadian Catters, a live version by Abbott (w/ banjo backup by Pete Seeger) is on "The Folk Music of the Newport Folk Festival 1959-60, Vol. 1" (Folkways FA 2341 as an LP)

Probably reissued on CD by Folkways, but anything ever put out on Folkways can be custom ordered from them.

Try looking for the alternative title.

24 Dec 07 - 05:34 PM (#2222102)
Subject: RE: John Barleycorn in USA?
From: GUEST,Lois


Don't know about older "collected" versions, but my friend Woody Lissauer ("rhymes with guitar") performs a really cool version of it today...Woody's an indie songwriter/ singer/ guitarist & producer here in Baltimore, MD.

You can check out video of one of his performances in nearby Sykesville, MD, here: .

Also you can hear his recorded version (5th track in his eponymous CD) on his main website: . (His upcoming concert/ touring schedule should be posted soon for the new year.)

Take care,