Sermon preached at St Peter’s Tandridge on 22nd March 2015
One tune to sing at this season of the year, as the crops reach higher in the fields and Passiontide – the last leg of Lent before Easter – brings its sobering reminder of human weakness, is the ancient English folksong John Barleycorn.
It tells the story of a grain of wheat, personified as little Sir John, who is suffers a series of hardships and indignities as he is buried in the earth, cut down in his prime, bound and ground and condemned to die; but who ultimately triumphs and is resurrected in the form of bread and ale, upon which those who have stricken him are dependant.
There are dozens of versions of the song, including some collected in Surrey and Sussex, the earliest written copies dating back to the reign of James I. The melody is heavenly: my favourite…
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