Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

Ancient Songs, Ballads, & Dance Tunes, Sheet Music & Lyrics - online book

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REIGNS OF JAMES I. AND CHAREES I.                               333
The third song (p. 169) is now commonly known as Mad Tom. It is in another metre, and has a separate tune. (Ante p. 330.)
The fourth, commencing, " Am I mad, 0 noble Festus," (p. 171), is here printed to this tune.
In the Roxburghe Collection, i. 42, there is a song on the tricks and disguises of beggars, entitled " The cunning Nor theme Begger:
Who all the bystanders doth earnestly pray, To beBtow a penny upon him to-day: to the tune of Tom of Bedlam." The first stanza is as follows:— " I ■am a lusty begger,                                   Yet, though I'm bare,
And live by others giving;                       I'm free from care,
I scorne to worke,                                           A fig for high preferments, [good sir,
But by the highway lurke,                            But still will I cry,' Good, your worship,
And beg to get my living.                            Bestow one poor denier, sir;
I'll i' th' wind and weather,                           Which, when I've got,
And weare all ragged garments!              At the pipe and the pot,
I soon will it cashier, sir.'" This copy of the ballad was printed "at London" for F. Coules, and may be dated as of the reign of Charles, or James I.
In Wit and Drollery, 1656 (p. 126), there is yet another Tom of Bedlam, beginning— " Forth from the Elysian fields, a place of restless souls, Mad Maudlin is come to seek her naked Tom, "Hell's fury she controls," &c. This is printed in an altered form, and with an imperfect copy of the tune, in Pills to purge Melancholy, ii. 192 (1700 and 1707), under the title of "Mad Maudlin to find out Tom of Bedlam:"
" To find my Tom of Bedlam, ten thousand years I'll travel; Mad Maudlin goes, with dirty toes, to save her shoes from gravel. Yet will I sing, Bonny boys, bonny mad boys}.Bedlam boys are bonny; They still go bare, and live by the air, and want no drink nor money." The tune is again printed in Pills to purge Melancholy, iii. 13 (1707), to a song "On Dr. G[ill?], formerly master of St. Paul's School," commencing— " In Paul's Churchyard in London, There dwells a noble firker, Take heed, you that pass, Lest you taste of his lash, For I have found him a jerker :
Still doth he cry, talte him up, take him up, sir,
Untruss with expedition ; O the birchen tool Which he minds in the school
Frights worse than the Inquisition." In Loyal Songs written against the Rump Parliament, 1731, ii. 272, we have " The cock-crowing at the approach of a Free Parliament; or—
Good news in a ballat                                      A country wit made it,
More sweet to your pallat                              Who ne'er got the trade yet,
Than fig, raisin, or stewed prune is:           And Mad Tom of Bedlam the tune is."