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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Barleycorn, John

The pseudonym used by Burns in his 'Address of the Scottish Distillers to the Right Honourable William Pitt' which appeared in the Gazatteer and New Daily Advertiser.

The letter arose out of the dissatisfaction expressed by the Scottish Distillers who had 'been lately ruined by a positive breach of the Public Faith, in a most partial tax laid on by the House of Commons, to favour a few opulent English Distillers, who, it seems, were of vast Electioneering consequence.'

Burns also wrote 'John Barleycorn — a Ballad', praising whisky the product of barley:

"John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
'Twill make your courage rise.
  •  'Twill make a man forget his woe;
    'Twill heighten all his joy:
    'Twill make the widow's heart to sing,
    'Tho the tear were in her eye.
  •  Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
    Each man a glass in hand;
    And may his great posterity
    Ne'er fail in Old Scotland!"
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    Complete Burns Songs

    linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


    Burns Music & Recordings
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    Burns Chess Sets

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