As always, we'll be singing this one just before the dessert course tonight at our Harvest Supper, courtesy of (who else?) those incomparable satirists of British folk idiom, the Kipper Family.

You can sing it to the standard Traffic John Barleycorn tune, but up the tempo some and think “cheerful” instead. And if you happen to have a squeezebox or accordion to accompany it, so much the better.

Joy of the Harvest to you and yours.


Joan Sugarbeet


There was three men come out of the East, their fortunes for to try;

and these three men made a solemn vow: Joan Sugarbeet must die.

They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed her in, threw clods upon her head;

and these three men made a solemn vow: Joan Sugarbeet was dead.


They let her lie for a very long time, till the rains from Heaven did fall:

then little Lady Joan sprung up her head, and so amazed them all.

They let her lie till Midwinter, till she looked both flaccid and green:

then little lady Joan, she grew a big bottom, and so became a queen.


They hired men with hands so strong to pull her out of bed.

They cut her in half around the waist, and threw away her head.

They hired men with the sharp pitchforks, who piled her by the road;

and the loader, he has served her worse than that, for he threw her up upon his load.


They wheeled her along and along the field till the factory they did meet;

and there they made a bloody great pile of poor Joan Sugarbeet.

They hired men with choppers so huge to chop her into bits;

but the Sugar Corporation served her worse than that, for they drowned her in a pit.


And it's little Lady Joan and the china cup, and the lumps all in the bowl,

and it's little Lady Joan and the china cup, that proved the sweetest girl.

For the office boy can't balance his books, nor keep his desk so neat,

and the housewife, she can't enjoy a cup with fish and chips without...

...a little bit of Joan Sugarbeet.