Ah ha ! Well, I was saving the news that they have issued the next 5 discs in similar format – its a bit expensive right now but I am tracking it ! So here is the link for “Another Parcel of Steeleye Span”
Although a common piece to be heard in the early live sets of Steeleye Span it was put away after the success of Steve Winwood’s version
The lyric they use is 19th C ,but the actual lyric stems from the Robert Burns version:
“There was three kings into the east,
three kings both great and high,
and they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn must die.”
It is considered by Sir James Frazer, in The Golden Bough, to be proof of a pagan cult in pre-history Britain, although there is absolutely no evidence to prove it.
In English folklore, John Barleycorn is a character who represents the crop of barley harvested each autumn. Equally as important, he symbolizes the wonderful drinks which can be made from barley — beer and whiskey — and their effects. In the traditional folksong, John Barleycorn, the character of John Barleycorn endures all kinds of indignities, most of which correspond to the cyclic nature of planting, growing, harvesting, and then death.
The John Barleycorn character reappears in the famous cult film “The Wicker Man”