Barley Grain, The
Sheet Music (and more information about this song)
There were three farmers in the north, as they were passin' by
They swore an oath, and a mighty oath, that the barley grain should die
With me rex fol-lol-de-dol-dairy oh, me rex fol-lol-de-dol-dee
With me rex fol-lol-de-dol-dairy oh, and the barley grain for me.
They put poor barley in a sack on a cold and rainy day,
And they took him off to the cullin' fields and buried him in the clay,
Frost and snow began to melt, and the dew began to fall,
When barley grain put up his head, and soon surprised them all.
Being in the summer season and the harvest coming on,
It's then he stands up in the field with a beard like any man.
The reaper came with his sickle and used me barbarously
he caught me by the middle so small and he cut me above the knee
The next came was the binder and he looked me with a frown
but in the middle there was a thistle that pulled his courage down.
The farmer came with his pitch fork and he pierced me to the heart
like a thief, a rogue or a highwayman they tied me to the cart
The thresher came with his big flail and soon he broke my bones,
'twould grieve the heart of any man to hear my sighs and groans,
The next thing that they done to me, they steeped me in a well
They left me there for a day and a night and my middle began to swell.
The next thing that they done to me, they dried me in the kiln,
They used me ten times worse than that, they ground me in the mill,
The barley grain is a comical grain, it makes men sigh and moan
For when they drink a glass or two they forget their wife and home.
The drunkard he's a terrible man he used me worst of all
He drank me up in his dirty maw and pissed me against the wall.