The traditional song, John Barleycorn, is about fermented grain.
We will also be honoring John Barleycorn in bread and other unfermented grains.

John Barleycorn Must Die (traditional, our version of one of the oldest songs in English, as used in our pantomime, John Barleycorn Must Die Horribly Right Now! August, 2005)

There were three men come out of the west
their fortunes for to try
and these three men made a solemn vow:
John Barleycorn must die!

They plowed and sowed and they harrowed him in,
threw clods upon his head,
till these three men were satisfied
John Barleycorn was dead.

They let him lie for a very long time
till the rains from heaven did fall;
and little Sir John he popped up his head
and so amazed them all!

They let him stand in the midsummer sun
till he looked both pale and wan;
little Sir John's grown a long, long beard,
and so became a man.

They hired men with sharpened scythes
to cut him off at the knee;
then they bound him and tied him around the waist,
treating him most barbarously.

They hired men with sharp pitchforks
to pierce him through the heart.
And the carter, he did him far worse than that:
for he tied him to a cart.

They wheeled him around and around the fields
till they came unto a barn,
and these three men made a solemn oath
on poor John Barleycorn.

They hired men with holly clubs
to beat him skin from bone...
and the miller, he served him far worse than that
for he ground him between two stone.

Oh, Barleycorn is the sweetest grain
that ever did grow on land.
It will do more than any other grain,
just by the tipping of your hand.

He will turn a boy into a man
and a man into an ass.
Your gold to silver he will turn
and your silver into brass.

He'll put the priest to sleep at night,
raise the nobleman in the morn;
lead the soldier to the stocks,
where all men may do him scorn.

He will put brandy in the glass
and Bud Light in the can.
and He will cause a man to drink
till he can neither go nor stand.

Little Sir John and the nut brown bowl
and the lager in the glass,
Little Sir John and his nut brown bowl
has proved the strongest man at last.

The huntsman, he can't hunt the fox,
nor loudly blow his horn....
and the singer, he can't sing ryme nor note,
without a little barleycorn...