by Bob Copper from George Attrill (right) in Stopham, Sussex in about 1954:
see Chapter Eight, pp. 73-82, of Songs and Southern
Breezes for the details; and the appendix, pp. 217, for these words.
The photo of George Attrill, West Sussex Council roadman, is credited to
George Garland of Petworth (West Sussex).
John Barleycorn is an hero bold as any in the land,
For ages good his fame has stood and will for ages stand.
The whole wide world respect him no matter friend or foe,
And where they be that makes too free he's sure to lay them low.
Hey, John Barleycorn, ho, John Barleycorn,
Old and young thy praise have sung, John Barleycorn.
To see him in his pride of growth his robes are rich and green,
His head is speared with prickly beard fit nigh to serve the Queen.
And when the reaping time comes round and John is stricken down,
He yields his blood for England's good and Englishmen's renown.
The Lord in courtly castle and the Squire in stately hall,
The great of name in birth and fame onJohn for succour call.
He bids the troubled heart rejoice, gives warmth to Nature's cold
Makes weak men strong and old ones young and all men brave and bold.
Then shout for great John Barleycorn nor heed the luscious vine,
I have no mind much charm to find in potent draught of wine.
Give me my native nut-brown ale, all other drinks I'll scorn
For true English cheer is English beer, our own John Barleycorn.