John Barleycorn love

John Barleycorn

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A personification of alcoholic liquor.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See barleycorn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun a personification of alcoholic drink, particularly beer and whisky.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an alcoholic beverage that is distilled rather than fermented

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

John (commonly used to personify a concept) + barleycorn; barley is used to produce malt the source of most British alcoholic drink.

Examples

  • Louis's bed reading "John Barleycorn" -- she had discovered Jack London in the "Cruise of the Snark" and loved his fine adventurousness -- she felt that she could not bear to know a thing so fine, so joyous and so dashing as he should have so miserable a neurosis.

    Captivity

  • Years of hard labor followed by years of hard drinking had taken their toll; the surge of vitality that followed his return to his beloved California ranch in 1909 did not last, though he continued to crank out mostly forgettable books ( "John Barleycorn," a blisteringly frank 1913 memoir of alcohol addiction, being the exception) until his death in 1916.

    James L. Haley's "Wolf: The Lives of Jack London," reviewed by Wendy Smith

  • He began to play, something slow and mournful"John Barleycorn, " she thought.

    Spirits White As Lightning

  • But I don't think that you or the author of 'John Barleycorn' or poor de

    Captivity

  • None of the rhymes of those days are in print, except "Winter, a Dirge," the eldest of my printed pieces; "The Death of Poor Maillie," "John Barleycorn," and

    Stories of Achievement, Volume IV (of 6) Authors and Journalists

  • "We'll bluff it off," whispered Ulyth, and, taking Lizzie's arm, she marched quietly past, murmuring: "John Barleycorn".

    For the Sake of the School

  • Mark the native spice and untranslatable twang in the very names of his songs -- "O for ane and twenty, Tam," "John Barleycorn," "Last May a braw Wooer,"

    November Boughs ; from Complete Poetry and Collected Prose

  • None of the rhymes of those days are in print, except "Winter, a Dirge," the eldest of my printed pieces; "The Death of Poor Maillie," "John Barleycorn," and songs first, second, and third.

    The Letters of Robert Burns

  • None of the rhymes of those days are in print, except "Winter, a dirge," the eldest of my printed pieces; "The Death of poor Maillie," "John Barleycorn," and songs first, second, and third.

    The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. With a New Life of the Poet, and Notices, Critical and Biographical by Allan Cunningham

  • This is the kind of thing that gets a cheap laugh in documentaries on rock music - "Hey, man, if it's too loud, you're too old" - but Keller's is exactly the reaction Traffic would have encountered if they'd been able to time-travel back ten years and play their version of "John Barleycorn" to even the most progressive English folk players of 1957.

    New Statesman

Comments

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  • There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try

    And these three men made a solemn vow

    John Barleycorn must die

    They've ploughed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in

    Threw clods upon his head

    And these three men made a solemn vow

    John Barleycorn was dead

    They've let him lie for a very long time, 'til the rains from heaven did fall

    And little Sir John sprung up his head and so amazed them all

    They've let him stand 'til Midsummer's Day 'til he looked both pale and wan

    And little Sir John's grown a long long beard and so become a man

    They've hired men with their scythes so sharp to cut him off at the knee

    They've rolled him and tied him by the waist serving him most barbarously

    They've hired men with their sharp pitchforks who've pricked him to the heart

    And the loader he has served him worse than that

    For he's bound him to the cart

    They've wheeled him around and around a field 'til they came unto a barn

    And there they made a solemn oath on poor John Barleycorn

    They've hired men with their crabtree sticks to cut him skin from bone

    And the miller he has served him worse than that

    For he's ground him between two stones

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl and his brandy in the glass

    And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last

    The huntsman he can't hunt the fox nor so loudly to blow his horn

    And the tinker he can't mend kettle or pots without a little barleycorn

    --(Traditional)

    April 18, 2011