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Bedlam Boys

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Bedlam Boys

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Bedlam Boys

For to see Mad Tom of Bedlam
Ten thousand miles I traveled
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes
For 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 or money.

I now repent that ever
Poor Tom was so disdain-ed
My wits are lost since him I crossed
Which makes me thus go chained

I went down to Satan's kitchen
For to get me food one morning
And there I got souls piping hot
All on the spit a-turning

There I took up a caldron
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
And feed them to the fairies

The spirits white as lightening
Would on me travels guide me
The stars would shake and the moon would quake
Whenever they espied 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

And when that I'll be murdering
The Man in the Moon to the powder
His staff I'll break, his dog I'll shake
And there'll howl no demon louder

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

For to see Mad Tom of Bedlam
Ten thousand years I have traveled
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes
For to save her shoes from gravel.

From Pills to Purge Melancholy Vol IV, D'Urfey (words and tune).
recorded by John and Tony on Dark Ships
BR
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III