minstrel: Mad Maudlin's Search

Dick Eney dickeney at access.digex.net
Sun Feb 9 14:18:41 PST 1997


Since there appears to be some confusion in people's minds between "Tom 
O'Bedlam's Song" and "Mad Maudlin's Search for Her Tom of Bedlam", no
doubt due to the folksingers' habit of mixing verses from the two, I
thought it would be appropriate to post "Mad Maudlin's Search."

=Tamar the Gypsy (sharing account dickeney at access.digex.net)

"Mad Maudlin's Search for Her Tom of Bedlam"
   published 1720 by Thomas D'Urfey in _Pills to Purge 
   Melancholy_ with a tune different from that used by 
   Tom Gilfellon in 20th Ct. and recorded (to Tom Gilfellon's tune)
   by John Roberts and Tony Barrand on "Dark Ships in the Forest"

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

Chorus:  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.

*** end of song ***


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