There were three men
Came from the west
Their fortunes for to tell,
And the life of John Barleycorn
They laid him three furrows deep,
Laid clods upon his head,
The these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn was dead.
They let him die for a very long time
Till the rain from heaven did fall,
Then little Sir John sprang up his head
And he did amaze them all.
They let him stand till the midsummer day,
Till he looked both pale and wan.
Then little Sir John he grew a long beard
And so became a man.
They have hired men with the scythes so sharp
To cut him off at the knee,
They rolled and they tied him around the waist,
The served him barbarously.
They have hired men with the crab-tree 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.
They've wheeled him here, they've wheeled him there,
They've wheeled him to a barn,
And they have served him worse than that,
They've bunged him in a vat.
They have worked their will on John Barleycorn
But he lived to tell the tale,
For they pour him out of an old brown jug
And they call him home brewed ale.
Lyrics taken from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/s/steeleye_span/john_barleycorn.html