(trad / additional lyrics D.Brühlmann)
There was three farmers in the North as they were passing by
They swore an oath a mighty oath that Barley corn should die
One of them said drown him and the other said hang him high
For whoever will stick to barley grain a-begging he will die
With me fal-la-la-the-dee Toor-a-lay me wack fol diddle day
They put poor barley into a sack of a cold and rainy day
they brought him off to culm fields and burned 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 the time he stands up in the field with a beard like any man.
the reaper then came with his hook and used me barbarously
he caught me by the middle so small and cut me above the knee.
The next came was the binder and look’d on me with a frown
but in the middle there was a thistle that pulled his courage down
the farmer came with his pitchfork and pierced me to the heart
like a thief a rogue or highwayman they tied me to the cart.
The trasher 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 steep’d me in a well
they left me there for a day and a night until I began to swell.
the next thing that they done to me they dried me in a kiln
they used me ten times worse than that they ground me in a mill
they put me in a heated pot and they boiled me up with hops
I woke up standing in the mud with a heavy head on top
they sent me out into the cold then cleared me many ways
they put me in a barrel left me there for sixty days
they used me in the kitchen they used me in the hall
they used me in the parlour among the ladies all.
The barley grain is a comical grain it makes men sigh and moan
for when they take a glass or two they forget their wife and home
the drunkard is a dirty man he used me worse than all
he drank me up in his dirty maw and tumbled against the wall.