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Tom of Bedlam

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BEDLAM BOYS


Related threads:
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Info Req:Tom of Bedlam (5) (closed)


honestfrankie@hotmail.com 25 Nov 99 - 12:37 PM
Dave Swan 25 Nov 99 - 12:47 PM
Liz the Squeak 25 Nov 99 - 05:02 PM
GeorgeH 26 Nov 99 - 12:06 PM
Penny S. 26 Nov 99 - 12:16 PM
Bruce O. 26 Nov 99 - 12:33 PM
honestfrankie 26 Nov 99 - 12:56 PM
26 Nov 99 - 12:58 PM
Bruce O. 26 Nov 99 - 01:22 PM
Bruce O. 26 Nov 99 - 06:44 PM
Liz the Squeak 26 Nov 99 - 10:08 PM
27 Nov 99 - 10:51 AM
Bruce O. 27 Nov 99 - 01:27 PM
Bruce O. 27 Nov 99 - 02:48 PM
Bruce O. 27 Nov 99 - 03:44 PM
Penny S. 27 Nov 99 - 06:32 PM
Bruce O. 27 Nov 99 - 06:57 PM
Penny S. 27 Nov 99 - 07:08 PM
Bruce O. 27 Nov 99 - 07:54 PM
Liz the Squeak 28 Nov 99 - 03:23 AM
InOBU 28 Nov 99 - 11:06 AM
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Subject: Tom of Bedlam
From: honestfrankie@hotmail.com
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 12:37 PM

Hello folks,

I'm trying to get some background to the bizarre story of Tom of Bedlam. I've heard something about drinking water from the other side of the lake across from a tanning operation that caused poisoning and hallucinations. Anyone have more on this?


Related threads:

Tom O' Bedlam's Song
Info Req: Tom of Bedlam


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Dave Swan
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 12:47 PM

Doug Olsen will have information on this for you. If he doesn't see this before then, I'll ask him about it when I see him Sunday. I bet you'll get a dozen good answers in the meantime. Stay tuned. Cheers, Dave


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 25 Nov 99 - 05:02 PM

Useless information for the day:

The original Bedlam (or Bethlehem) Hospital is now the Imperial War Museum - surely a case of the lunatics taking over the asylum....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: GeorgeH
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 12:06 PM

This is getting to be a habit . .

Are you SURE of that, Liz?? My recollection is that the Imperial War Museum is on the site of the Bethlehem Hospital. My further recollection is that its buildings are not old enough to be the original - although there might be some old parts squirrelled away somewhere.

I also seem to recall (from another newsgroup thread, so this could also be totally wrong) that at some point the hospital moved from north of the Thames to the South (for those who are even less familiar with London than I am, the Imperial War Museum is south of the Thames. Apart from its Cambridgeshire branch, which is at Duxford, just down the road from me).

G.


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Penny S.
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 12:16 PM

And isn't there some connection with the Maudsley (not to be confused with the Maudlin)?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Bruce O.
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 12:33 PM

The Opie's in 'The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes' give 1675 as the date of the move of Old Bethlem Hospital from Bishops Gate Without' to Moorfields (a little west of Bishop's Gate Street Without). This is considerably later than the song "Tom O'Bedlam". On a map of 1731 we find Moorfields with the alternative label N. Bethlem. The Opie's statement is in notes to "As I was walking o'er little Moorfields", closely related to "Tom-Tell Truth". They note "A shoulder of mutton jumped over from France", but say nothing about how Bedlam jumped over the Thames. When did that happen?


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: honestfrankie
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 12:56 PM

Thanks to all who contributed information about the song "Tom of Bedlam". What a bunch of all-knowing folkies! Does anyone know whether this song would be old enough to be called medieval? Frankie


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From:
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 12:58 PM

Read the thread Tom O'Bedlam's Song.


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Bruce O.
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 01:22 PM

Documentation my sources of the facts, pointing to the origin of the song in 1618, is given, with the early copy of the song, in Scarce Songs 2 at www.erols.com/olsonw

Click (now at Mudcat)


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Bruce O.
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 06:44 PM

Penny, about 300 songs, mostly rare, (some from manuscripts and apparently never printed) about 800 ABCs, an index of 16th and 17th century broadside ballads, index of 17th and 18th century Scots tunes, index of Irish tunes to c 1865, index of country dance tunes to about 1800, and some other stuff.

The click above started working for me after about 3 PM today (its now 6:40 PM here). If it doesn't for you, try direct to www.erols.com/olsonw


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 Nov 99 - 10:08 PM

George, I didn't say that it took over Bedlam directly, I just said that Bedlam is now the IWM, and the word site dropped out of sight somewhere... I have a head full of crap, some of it just pops out wherever it can, and this was one of the occasions, I'm sorry, I'm a natural blonde you know, don't keep getting at me...sniff sniff sniff...it is 3.00 am........

Besides, there have been several Bethlehem hospitals, on differing sites, most of them asylumns of some sort, where you could be incarcerated and considered dangerous for just having bad PMT or epilepsy. And yes, I do know that, got the Asylumn returns to prove it.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From:
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 10:51 AM

I posted the following to rec.music.folk in April 95 when there was little non-institutional access to internet and I had to "gate" through from a FIDOnet, Electronic Bulletin Board. Just 4 years ago and FIDOnet essentially gone as well as all its folklore & lexicon. "sysop" "BBS" "sig" (not Signiture) "tagline." Seems ages ago.

This is 100 years later than Bruce's reference, but shaping up to the mainline song:

In Thomas D'Urfey; _Pills to Purge Melancholy_ of 1719 or 1720, page 56:

TOM a BEDLAM

Forth from my sad and darksome Cell,
From the deep abyss of Hell,
Mad tom is come to view the world again,
To see if he can ease his distemper'd brain.

Plus 11 verses, many of which include odd classical references such as

Last night I heard the Dog-Star bark
or
Lymping Vulcan had the gout

ending with

The man in the Moon drinks Clarret,
Eats powder'd Beef, Turnep and Carret:
But a Cup of old _Maligo_ Sack
Will fire the Bush at his back.

I think this is pretty clearly the main root of the Steeleye version.


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Bruce O.
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 01:27 PM

It's first know published appearance was in Choyce Songs and Ayres, 1673, but variant texts appear earlier in manuscripts (including the Percy Folio) and it is in several later books, and a broadside ballad expansion was entered in the Stationers' Register in 1675 (ZN910 in the broadside ballad index on my website). Its tune is "Grays Inn Masque" (ABC of it is B165 on my website). It's in Pills, III, p. 43-4, 1719, without music or tune direction (and in all earlier editions of Pills).


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Bruce O.
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 02:48 PM

I should have stated that my message referred to the song just previous to it, "Forth from my sad....", which is called "New Mad Tom O' Bedlam" on the broadside copies. Credit where credit is due also: Most of my information is from Claude M. Simpson's 'The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music', 1966. Note also another 'Belamite' song accompanies the "New Mad Tom" on broadsides issues.


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Subject: ADD: Darksome Cell - Re: Tom of Bedlam
From: Bruce O.
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 03:44 PM

Here is the copy that Hales and Furnival gave from the Percy Folio MS

Darksome Cell:

Fforth ffrom my sadd & darksome cell,
ffrom the deepe abisse of hell,
madd Tom is come into the world againe
to see if hee can ease his distempered braine.

ffeare & dispayre pursue my soule!
harke how the angry ffuryes howle!
Pluto laughes, proserpine is gladd
to see poor naked Tom of Bedlam madd.

through woods I wander night and day
to seeke my stragling sences;
In an angrye mood I ffound out time
with his Pentarchye of tenses.

when mee he spyes, away hee fflyes;
time will stay ffor no man;
In vaine with cryes hee rends the skyes,
pitty is not common.

Cold & comfortlesse I lye.
helpe, oh helpe! or else I dye.

harke! I heere Appolloes teeme,
the Carman 'gins to whistle;
Chast Dyana bends her browe,
the bore begins to bristle.

Come, vulcan with tooles & with takells,
& knocke of my troublesome shakells!
bid Charles make ready his waine
to ffeitch my ffiue sences againe.

Last night I heard the dogstar barke,
Mars mett venus in the darke;
Limping vulcan heates an Iron barr,
& furyouslye runs att the god of warr.

Mars with his weapons layd about,
but vulcans temples had they gout,
ffor his broad hornes did hang soe in his light
that hee cold not see to aime arright.

Mercurye, the nimble post of heauen,
stayd to see this quarrell,
gorreld-bellyed Bacchus, gyant-like
bestryds a strong beere barrell:

to me he dranke, I did him thanke,
but I cold gett now Cyder;
hee dranke whole butts till hee burst his gutts;
but mine were neere the wyder.

poore naked Tom is verry drye;
a litle drinke, ffor charitye!

hearke! I heare Acteons hounds.
the huntsman woopp and hallowe;
Ringwood, Royster, Bowman, Iowler,
all the chase doe ffollowe.

the man in the moone drinkes Clarett,
eates pouthered beefe, turnipp & Carrett;
a cup of old Maligo sacke
will fire the bush att his backe.

The two line verses are attached at the beginning of the following verse in the Pills copy, which differs a bit in wording in several places.


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Penny S.
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 06:32 PM

Bruce, I am going to have to go to the cafe to access your site. This is what the school filter says:

The page contains material that might be offensive •The page may reside on a site that contains large amounts of offensive material, or does not screen the web pages of its subscribers •You may have tried to search for a word that will bring up links to offensive material •The site offers unregulated chat facilities.

You are in good company though - an ancient history index on women in ancient egypt has the same block on it. I can think of reasons why. I can think of reasons why folk song might trigger the same response, but I have no trouble with the forum here, or the DT, despite all!

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Bruce O.
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 06:57 PM

Penny, someone, I know not who, had some prono GIFS and JPEGs on another website on the same server at one time, and maybe they are still there, but I actually know only what's on my website (and I've forgotten much of that), and have never visited anyone else's on my server. I do have a number of old songs to which some could probably take offense. However, I've never received any complaints, in any form. My server is balky again today, and I've failed to get to it on several tries today.


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Penny S.
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 07:08 PM

Bruce, I didn't think, from what you said, that there is likely to be anything offensive. I don't really understand how the Research Machines filter thing works. It's not nearly good enough at what it is supposed to do - ads get on the screen from innocent looking sites, very strange addresses show up in searches and so on - I wouldn't really want the children hanging round here, though its unlikely, and at the moment, we don't use the net enough, and it's enough under control not to be a problem. I suspect that it's one of the more technical objections, like the one which keeps me out of the chat. The alternative is that someone did take offense and reported your site as a problem, but that doesn't seem likely. Or maybe it spotted the letter string ero, and thought it meant something else. What is really irritating is that I don't have a teacher option of switching off the filter, because it is at the service provider's end. Given that there are grey areas, that would be polite to a professional.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Bruce O.
Date: 27 Nov 99 - 07:54 PM

I should have said directly that I rent 5 megabytes of space on my server, and don't know who or what else the server hosts. Geocities.com always throws advs. at one now, so I don't look at anything there. Henrik Norbeck moved his website elswhere because of that.


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 03:23 AM

'Ere, what have Vulcans got to do with it??

It is illogical.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Tom of Bedlam
From: InOBU
Date: 28 Nov 99 - 11:06 AM

A week ago, my wee band Sorcha Dorcha, played at a fundraiser for homelessness. We were going (and did) to lead off with Tom of Bedlam. Just before we were to go on, a fellow sang a rather quaint little song about kids, during which he stopped mid verse to remind us that kids are a gift from God. Well, it took all my moral fortitude to not give the intro, which I shared with the band before we went on... as follows... We indorce the sentiments of the last artist. Kids are great, you can hug em, cuddle em, teach em, .... make pies... Tom of Bedlam - great old song Larry Otway


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