The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #1073   Message #3290
Posted By: Barry Finn
20-Mar-97 - 09:04 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Tom o' Bedlam's Song
Subject: Lyr Add: TOM OF BEDLAM
Bedlam, the popular name for St. Mary's Hosp. in London for males, the woman's institution named after Mary Magdalene was called Maudlin, & it was a popular diversion to watch the antics of the poor inmates.

1) To find my Tom of Bedlam 10,000 miles I'll travel.
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes to save her shoes from gravel.

(Ch) Still I sing bonny boys, bonny mad boys, Bedlam boys are bonny.
For they all go bare & they live by the air, & they want no drink nor money.

(2) I repent that ever poor Tom was so disdained.
My wits are lost since him I crossed, which makes me thus go chained.

(3) I went to Pluto's kitchen to beg some food morning,
& there I got souls piping hot, all on the spit a-turning.

(4) There I took up a cauldron, where boiled 10,000 harlots.
Though full of flame I drank the same to the health of all such varlets.

(5) My staff has murdered giants, my bag a long knife carries.
For to out mince pies from children's thighs, with which to feed the fairies.

(6) A spirit hot as lightning did on that journey guide me.
The sun did shake & the pale moon quake, as soon as e'er they spied me.

(7) No gypsy, slut or doxy shall win my Mad Tom from me.
I'll weep all night, with stars I'll fight, the fray shall well become me.

(8) So drink to Tom of Bedlam, go fill the seas in barrels.
I'll drink it all, well brewed with gall, & Maudlin drunk I'll quarrel...

I have it as "Tom of Bedlam". I'm told by a close fellow musician that a side kick of his Declan Hunt was surfing the Library at Harvard & found this song, Declan liberated the song, from obscurity & that is where Steeleye Span got from. Good luck it's a great song.