Tom of Bedlam

More properly titled "Mad Maudlin's Search for her Tom of Bedlam," this song does not seem to have had much currency in the tradition. It has been dug up from print and was popularized by Tom Gilfellon of the High Level Ranters.

To find my Tom of Bedlam ten thousand years I'll travel,
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes to save her shoes from gravel.

     Still I sing: Bonny boys, bonny mad boys,
     Bedlam boys are bonny,
     For they all go bare and they live by the air,
     And they want no drink nor money.

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

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

There I took up a cauldron, where boiled ten thousand harlots,
Though full of flame I drank the same, to the health of all such varlets.

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

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

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.

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

© Golden Hind Music