Thursday, 19 February 2009

Who is John Barleycorn ?

I have recently seen a fellow called John Barleycorn mentioned in a couple of articles on beer. I had never heard of this person before and have now learned that John Barleycorn is an old English folk song and the character is a personfication of the barley grain and alcoholic drinks made from it. It can also have some pagan metaphorical intepretations.

Wikipedia has a piece here.

The music and lyrics are here.

and you can see and hear Traffic performing the song here.

and an excellent article on pagan pub names here.

So now you know. I drink a toast to John Barleycorn.


tankard said...

Don't tell me you didn't know the song by Traffic. Where were you in 1968. Umm, don't answer that. I can guess, ha ha.

The Beer Justice said...

At primary school. There must have been a few hippy teachers there as I can clearly remember singing Dylan's Blowing in the Wind in the school choir.

Vocal Yokel said...

You don't know John Baaarlcorn?

You're not from these paaarts, are you?

UnfriendlyGhost said...

Also a good Frank Black song!

Brewblogger said...

There used to be a pub near the corner of UCL on Gower Place called the John Barleycorn, opposite MI5, The Facade is still there. Or was last time I wandered past.