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Lyr Req: Tom o' Bedlam's Song

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BEDLAM BOYS


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dwb9821@tam2000.tamu.edu 20 Mar 97 - 12:59 AM
Barry Finn 20 Mar 97 - 09:04 AM
dick greenhaus 20 Mar 97 - 12:08 PM
belter 20 Mar 97 - 03:59 PM
Age of songs Tom Vs Bedlam 23 Mar 97 - 03:58 AM
Jerry Friedman, jfriedman@nnm.ccn.nm.us 27 Mar 97 - 10:56 PM
Murray 28 Mar 97 - 03:25 AM
Bruce O. 21 Feb 98 - 02:00 PM
P.Mihok 28 Sep 98 - 11:04 PM
Bruce O 29 Sep 98 - 12:28 PM
SlowAlan 30 Sep 98 - 09:17 AM
SlowAlan2 30 Sep 98 - 09:25 AM
Bruce O. 30 Sep 98 - 11:42 AM
bardic gypsy 30 Sep 98 - 02:36 PM
sophocleese 25 Nov 99 - 03:05 PM
lamarca 26 Nov 99 - 10:42 AM
sophocleese 26 Nov 99 - 12:24 PM
Joe_F 11 Dec 09 - 10:03 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Dec 09 - 11:00 PM
Janet Elizabeth 17 Nov 10 - 04:49 PM
Janet Elizabeth 17 Nov 10 - 04:52 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper, too lazy to log in 17 Nov 10 - 11:17 PM
Janet Elizabeth 18 Nov 10 - 07:37 AM
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Subject: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: dwb9821@tam2000.tamu.edu
Date: 20 Mar 97 - 12:59 AM

I am trying to find the lyrics to "Tom O'Bedlam's Song" it is a later sequel to "Bedlam Boys"...Thanks

Related threads:

Info Req: Tom of Bedlam
Tom Of Bedlam


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Subject: Lyr Add: TOM OF BEDLAM
From: Barry Finn
Date: 20 Mar 97 - 09:04 AM

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.


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Mar 97 - 12:08 PM

D'Urfey, in Pills to Purge Melancholy, has several Bedlam songs. Bedlam was a corrupted pronunciation of Bethlehem


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: belter
Date: 20 Mar 97 - 03:59 PM

Now I know what the song maid in bedlam is about.


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: Age of songs Tom Vs Bedlam
Date: 23 Mar 97 - 03:58 AM

I'm not at all convinced that Bedlam Boys is older than Tom' A Bedlam, The theme of a mad man's point of view is a very old one and Tom is as old a name as any, save perhaps william, for this sort of thing.

Its possible that Mad Tom was 'round before he came from bethleham or Bedlam.

bo


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: Jerry Friedman, jfriedman@nnm.ccn.nm.us
Date: 27 Mar 97 - 10:56 PM

A lot of these "mad songs" seem to be from the sixteenth century, and all the ones I've seen have the same meter. The most famous one among poetry readers (it's called "Tom o' Bedlam", or "Loving-Mad Tom") begins

From the hag and hungry goblin
That into rags would rend ye,
The spirit that stands by the naked man
In the book of moons defend ye! That of your five sound senses
You never be forsaken,
Nor wander from yourselves with Tom
Abroad to beg your bacon.


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: Murray
Date: 28 Mar 97 - 03:25 AM

There's a whole book about this last one called "Loving Mad Tom" by Jack Lindsay (1927).Also an essay by the English poet Robert Graves on the subject--he proves (to his own satisfaction)that there's a great likelihood the original author of the "good" verses at least was none other than Shakespeare, to put into the mouth of his mad Edgar in "King Lear". I think G. Legman says something about it too in his book "The Limerick".You'll notice that these songs are (more or less) in the limerick metre.]


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Subject: RE: Info Req:Tom of Bedlam
From: Bruce O.
Date: 21 Feb 98 - 02:00 PM

C. M. Simpson in 'The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music', 1966, found no evidence for song or tune in the 16th century, nor have I. I've found one thing not found by Simpson. There is a copy of "From the hag and hungry goblin" (in the other thread) in Bodleian MS Tanner 465, where the song is headed 'Tom o' Bedlam's Song to K. James'. This seems to point to a court masque in James I's time as the source of the song. ("Last Christmas 'twas my Chance" (The Dance of the Usurer and the Devil) in 'Pills to Purge Melancholy' is from a masque of 1622, and Simpson did not find that, or its original tune.)

As to the two lines in King Lear that are sung by Edgar, they do not occur in any known version of "Tom o' Bedlam". But this isn't conclusive. I've spent considerable time on study of song fragments in Shakespeare's plays. Some of these have been identified as lines from particular songs, but I've come to believe that Shakespeare more often parodied songs than quoted them, and these parodies are practically impossible to identify with particular songs with any great degree of certainty.


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: P.Mihok
Date: 28 Sep 98 - 11:04 PM

you may be interested to notice that Robert Silverberg wrote a book, Tom O'Bedlam, which quotes parts of the song at the heading of each section. I posted him a message asking where he obtained the sections I had never seen before. Does anyone know an online source where I can read the entire (original) song?


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Subject: Lyr Add: TOM O' BEDLAM
From: Bruce O
Date: 29 Sep 98 - 12:28 PM

Tom o' Bedlam

[Early copy, from Giles Earle's MS, 1615-26. Another early copy in Bodleian MS Tanner 465 is noted in the index to the MS to be "Tom o' Bedlam's Song to K. James". I suspect the song is from a lost comic show, 'Tom of Bedlam', presented at court, Jan. 9, 1618. A lute MS in which the tune appears is said to be of 1613-16. The tune is B467 on my website.]

From the hag and hungry goblin,
That into rags would rend ye,
And the spirit that stands by the naked man
In the book of moons, defend ye,
That of your five sound senses
You never be forsaken
Nor wander from yourselves with Tom,
Abroad to beg your bacon.
While I do sing: Any food
Any feeling, drink, or clothing?
Come, dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.

Of thirty bare years have I
Twice twenty been engaged,
And of forty been three time fifteen
In durance soundly caged
On the lordly lofts of Bedlam,
With stubble soft and dainty,
Brave bracelets strong, sweet whips, ding dong,
With wholesome hunger plenty.
And now I sing: Any food
Any feeding, drink, or clothing?
Come, dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.

With a thought I took for Maudlin,
And a cruse of cockle pottage,
With a thing thus tall, sky bless you all.
I befell into this dotage.
I slept not since the Conquest,
Till then I never waked,
Till th rougish boy of love where I lay
Me found and stripp'd me naked.
And now I sing: Any food
Any feeding, drink, or clothing?
Come, dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.

When I short have shorn my sour-face,
And swigg'd my horny barrel
In an oaken inn I pound my skin,
As a suit of gilt apparrel
The moon's my constant mistress,
And the lowly owl my morrow;
The flaming drake and the night-crow make
Me music to my sorrrow.
While I do sing: Any food
Any feeding, drink, or clothing?
Come, dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.

The palsy plagues myy pulses,
When I prig your pigs or pullen,
Your culvers take, or matchless make
Your chanticlere or sullen.
When I want provant, with Humphrey
I sup, and when benighted
I repose in Powles with waking souls,
Yet never am affrighted.
But I do sing: Any food,
Any feeding, drink, or clothing?
Come, dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.

I know more than Apollo,
For oft when he lies sleeping,
I see the stars at bloody wars
In the wounded welkin weeping,
The moon embrace her shepherd,
And the queen of love her warrior,
While the first doth horn the star of morn,
And the next the heavenly Farrier.
While I do sing: Any food
Any feeding, drink, or clothing?
Come, dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.

The Gipsy snap and Pedro
Are none of Tom's comrados.
The punk I scorn, and cutpurse sworn,
And the roaring boys bravados.
The meek, the white, the gentle,
Me handle, touch, and spare not;
But those that cross Tom Rhinoceross
Do what the panther dare not.
Although I sing; any food
Any feeding, drink, or clothing?
Come, dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.

With an host of furious fancies
Whereof I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air
To the wilderness I wander.
By a knight of ghosts and shadows
I summon'd am to tourney
Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end,
Methinks it is no journey.
Yet will I sing: Any food,
Any feeding, drink, or clothing?
Come, dame or maid, be not afraid,
Poor Tom will injure nothing.


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: SlowAlan
Date: 30 Sep 98 - 09:17 AM

I think this version of Tom O'Bedlam as supplied by Bruce O has been recorded by a brilliant and highly original English (?) a capella group called the Songwainers in the sixties or seventies sometime. They were an obscure group, but terrific I think.


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: SlowAlan2
Date: 30 Sep 98 - 09:25 AM

I forgot to ask...Bruce O, you mention your website - what URL please?


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: Bruce O.
Date: 30 Sep 98 - 11:42 AM

www.erols.com/olsonw

Now at Mudcat (click)


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: bardic gypsy
Date: 30 Sep 98 - 02:36 PM

I was given most of these verses at some point or another but there are a few here I haven't seen before! A lot of them are in the Norton Anthology of Poetry-fourth edition.


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: sophocleese
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 03:05 PM

Interesting to read this information on Tom O'Bedlam's song. It encouraged me to root out a book I read a few years ago called Firedrake's Eye by Patricia Finney. She uses Tom O'Bedlam as the narrator. If anyones interested its quite a decent read.


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: lamarca
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 10:42 AM

She wrote a sequal, sophocleese, called "The Unicorn
" (post-turkey memory lapse). I love her writing! The character in the novel isn't strictly Tom O'Bedlam of the poem, but a young nobleman named Tom who is mad...The two books are an interesting view of the politics and social structure of Elizabethan times, as well as good thrillers/mysteries.


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Subject: RE: Tom O'Bedlam's Song
From: sophocleese
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 12:24 PM

Thanks lamarca, I'll look out for it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tom o' Bedlam's Song
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 10:03 PM

This company might be amused by a review I wrote for an amateur press association (reader-generated magazine) in 1991. I see that it misattributes to Graves, tho, some editorial decisions that must be due to Lindsay:

_Loving Mad Tom: Bedlamite Verses of the XVI and XVII Centuries_, edited with notes by Jack Lindsay, foreword by Robert Graves (Franfolico, 1927; Seven Dials, 1969). Found in the bibliography of Gershon Legman's massive collection of dirty limericks, and then in the Widener at Harvard. A scholarly extravaganza centered on the well-known song "Tom o' Bedlam", purporting to be sung by one of the roving madmen deinstitutionalized when Henry VIII shut down the monasteries:

    From the hag and hungry goblin
    That into rags would rend ye
    And the spirit that stands by the naked man
    In the Book of Moons defend ye!
    That of your five sound senses
    You never be forsaken
    Nor travel from yourselves with Tom
    Abroad to beg your bacon.
      Nor never sing "Any food, any feeding,
      Money, drink or clothing":
      Come dame or maid, be not afraid,
      Poor Tom will injure nothing.

Some of them were taken care of, after a fashion, at the Hospital of St Mary of Bedlam (= Bethlehem) in London:

    Of thirty bare years have I
    Twice twenty been enragèd,
    And of forty been three times fifteen
    In durance soundly cagèd
    In the lordly lofts of Bedlam
    On stubble soft and dainty,
    Brave bracelets strong, sweet whips ding dong,
    With wholesome hunger plenty.
      And now I sing...

This book contains original texts of this and related songs, emendations, literary revisions, burlesques, explanations, contemporary quotations about life on the road in those days, etc.

Robert Graves, in the preface, thinks that the earthier parts of this song, such as the ones quoted above, were actual folk poetry, but that a professional poet later added some of the fancier fantasies, which contain classical allusions:

    I know more than Apollo [the sun],
    For oft when he lies sleeping
    I behold the stars at mortal wars
    And the wounded welkin [sky] weeping;
    The moon embrace her shepherd [who's that?]
    And the queen of love [Venus] her warrior [Mars],
    While the first doth horn [cuckold] the star of the morn [Venus]
    And the next the heavenly farrier [Jupiter?].
      While I do sing...

I have never stayed awake all night outdoors and seen the stars go by. It is a remembrance that bums share with soldiers:

    The sky slowly changes its huge guard of stars.

    And there's the young lieutenant, sword buckled over his heart
    and his soul on his smooth face:

      Soon it's to be life or death...either one means someone's
      harvest or old age shall ripen. Live, die, I'm not afraid.
      Father, fatherland...life-giving earth...be safe.

    The night marches on, armored in burning stars.

                   -- Ennius, "The Night Watch"

    And the solemn firmament marches
      And the hosts of heaven rise
    Framed through the iron arches --
      Banded and barred by the ties,

    Till we feel the far track humming,
      And we see her headlight plain,
    And we gather and wait her coming --
      The wonderful north-bound train.

        -- Kipling, "Bridge-Guard in the Karoo"

I am skeptical of Graves as a scholar, tho. At about the same time as this book was published, he wrote, with Laura Riding (who I think was his wife), a preposterous essay arguing that in interpreting Shakespeare's sonnets one ought to take the spelling & punctuation seriously. A Yaley named Stephen Booth makes a monkey out of Graves in a note to his edition of the sonnets (Yale U.P., 1977). Similar perversity seems likely in Graves's handling of one couplet in "Tom o'Bedlam":

    In an oken Inne I pound my skin
    as a suite of guilt apparrell.

Auden, in the _Oxford Book of Light Verse_, following other sources & common sense, makes this

    In an oaken inn do I pawn my skin
    As a suit of gilt apparel,

which is both intelligible and funny. Graves makes it

    At an oaken in I 'pound my skin
      In a suit of gilt apparel,

changing "as" to "in" & putting an apostrophe on "pound" as if it were short for something, without saying what. I have tried the _OED_ s.v. "appound", "depound", "suppound", and "impound", all in
vain; only the last is there, and it has no plausible sense.

However, I did enjoy Graves's moving reminiscence of combat in W.W. I (_Goodbye to All That_) & his pleasant essay on taboo language ("Lars Porsena"). He also wrote a famous book on the Greek myths that I hope to get around to someday.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tom o' Bedlam's Song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Dec 09 - 11:00 PM

To follow this drift re Graves' Greek Myths:— It is not so much a book on the myths as an idiosyncratic but coherent retelling of them in sequence — Titans-Olympians-House·of·Atreus &c, superbly indexed: thus providing an invaluable ref'ce tool. When I come across a name from myth I can't quite place or remember, 5 minutes with Graves will bring it back to me [or, if one I haven't come across before, fill me in on it], placing it in the context of the myth-canon as a whole.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tom o' Bedlam's Song
From: Janet Elizabeth
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 04:49 PM

Thank you everybody for this information. I was thinking of changing the verses I sing and was delighted to find here some long-forgotten verses I recognise from the poem I read at school. Looking for the words from those verses I've found a useful page for mudcatters and poetry people in good old Gutenberg ... http://www.gutenberg.org/files/16350/16350-8.txt
There's lots of provenance info in it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tom o' Bedlam's Song
From: Janet Elizabeth
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 04:52 PM

PS - don't just go there and print it, you'll use far too many tree-acres! Go there and search it (ctrl-F) for Bedlam.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tom o' Bedlam's Song
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper, too lazy to log in
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 11:17 PM

Kenneth Patchen quoted some verses in his novel Sleepers Awake as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Tom o' Bedlam's Song
From: Janet Elizabeth
Date: 18 Nov 10 - 07:37 AM

Just found another great site - http://www.renaissancefestivalmusic.com/lyrics/2006/06/mad-maudlins-seach-bedlam-boys-tom-o.shtml

I realise now that this song / poem is Tom O' Bedlam's Song, while the more frequently sung song, Bedlam Boys, is Mad Maudlin's Search


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