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John Barleycorn character jug produced in Italy circa 1930. John Barleycorn is an English and Scottish folk song. John Barleycorn, the song's protagonist, is a personification of barley and of the alcoholic beverages made from it, especially beer and whisky. In the song, he suffers indignities, attacks, and death that correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such as reaping and malting.
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