Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Joan Sugarbeet Must Die

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.










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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


  • Mark Green
    Mark Green Sunday, 22 September 2019

    Once, back in the 90s, I made a comedy song tape of Pagan songs and chants, called "The Carcrashic Records". Someday I hope to collect songs like this in a modern update.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Monday, 23 September 2019

    Sign me up on the list, lease!

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Monday, 23 September 2019

    Here's a nasty little piece of pagan satire along such lines. Some things deserve to be remembered.

    Down we go to the world below,
    and where it stops, we just don't know.
    Kenny Klein got in hot water
    molesting people's underage daughters.

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