2009 Richard B Gillion
Tune: each line of the verse is from a different well-known folk tune.

'Twas on a May morning in the sweet month of June
I awoke oh so early in fact much too soon
For the next hour I drifted in and out of my dreams
I felt my life coming apart at the seams

'Twas the cider I'd been drinking from a rusty old tub
For ninepence a pint down at the folk club
And the songs we'd been singing were coming to life
In my dreams that May morning on July the ninth

I'd been a wild rover returning to home
From the hills and the valleys where the firkin do roam
I was a bold sailor off to war bound to go
To fight in High Germany in the Lowlands so low.

I boldly stepped up to this comely young maid
In my scarlet blue jacket and with my white cockade
I acted the stranger as she looked in my eyes
'Oh it's you dearest Willie' she saw through my disguise

I searched for employment but long sought in vain
Ploughing Bawn's rocks or the deep raging main
Forever being banished from my native strand
Forever being washed up in Van Dieman's Land

When they asked my name John Barleycorn I said
Then they pushed me to the ground and threw clods on my head
They struck me and served me right barbarously
When they picked up the scythe it was time I should flee.

I strove to get home to awake in my bed
And escape from these dreams whirling round in my head
I'll be Spencer the Rover, yes now I remember
One May morning early on the fifth of November.

Inspired by Stanley Accrington

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