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Harvest Season

I remember my parents had a corn husk doll which came from Poland (perhaps it was from Wawarnyce, my grandpa's home town, now the Ukraine). I miss the symbolism and the artwork. When I was over there I could not find a doll, only various pieces of artwork which looked more like brooms. Someday, perhaps, I will find one. I think my parents don't have it anymore.

Corn Husk Doll

source of photo

Thanks to helios137 for saying he liked Traffic's version of John Barleycorn Must Die, a traditional Irish folksong. The video, and the lyrics, are below.

"John Barleycorn" is an English folksong. The character of John Barleycorn in the song is a personification of the important cereal crop barley, and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, beer and whisky. In the song, John Barleycorn is represented as suffering attacks, death, and indignities that correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such as reaping and malting." wikipedia

There were three men came out of the West,
Their fortunes for to try,
And these three men made a solemn vow:
John Barleycorn must die.

They've ploughed, they've sewn, they've harrowed him in,
Threw clods upon his head,
And these three men made a solemn vow:
John Barleycorn was dead.

They've let him lie for a very long time,
‘Till the rains from heaven did fall,
And little Sir John sprung up his head,
And so amazed them all.

They've let him stand ‘till midsummer's day,
‘Till he looked both pale and wan,
And little Sir John's grown a long, long beard,
And so become a man.

They've hired men with the scythes so sharp,
To cut him off at the knee,
They've rolled him and tied him by the way,
Serving him most barbarously.

They've hired men with the sharp pitchforks,
Who pricked him to the heart,
And the loader he has served him worse than that,
For he's bound him to the cart

They've wheeled him around and around the field,
‘Till they came unto a barn,
And there they made a solemn oath,
On poor John Barleycorn.

They've hired men with the crab-tree sticks,
To cut him skin from bone,
And the miller he has served him worse than that,
For he's ground him between two stones.

And little Sir John and the nut-brown bowl,
And he's brandy in the glass;
And little Sir John and the nut-brown bowl,
Proved the strongest man at last.

The huntsman, he can't hunt the fox,
Nor so loudly to blow his horn,
And the tinker he can't mend kettle nor pot,
Without a little Barleycorn


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
Just about the most perfect song to hear tonight. Thank you Karena. :)

That is a really beautiful doll. Visiting Scandinavia and Eastern Europe (Estonia and Russia) I was so happy to see such wonderful folk art. We couldn't bring too much stuff back with us, but we did pick up a real nifty tea set in Tallinn, Estonia:
Oct. 6th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
Oh I love it! What a nice balance of white with the traditional flowers, and the horse is a joy! What a good choice.
Oct. 7th, 2010 11:37 am (UTC)
Thank you. The credit for selecting the good choice goes to my Inquisitive Love. She had the sharp buying eye this time around. I happily concurred when she pointed this tea set out in the window. I would like to read some Eastern European folktales (which this tea set seems to be reflecting), do you have any suggestions? Any good collections that you are aware of?
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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