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Mon Nov 1 19:54:25 PST 2004

O'Bedlam is a lot like my other favorite tune, Suil A Ruin. Some is in 
period, some isn't. I've been collecting the lyrics for versions of both 
these songs for quite some time now, and I am trying to figure out just that 
question, "Is it period?". ::grins:: If anyone on the list has the lyrics to 
a version of either Tom O'Bedlam or Suil A Ruin, and you are willing to 
share, please email them to me privately. As for the tune of Tom O'Bedlam, I 
don't know of any sheet music for it, since I learned it by ear at 
meet'n'greet at Ren Faire. Annwn does a fair "rocked out" version of it 
though. The original tune is there, but some of the bridges are monotone.
Okay, enough babbling.

For Calino Costurame, one of the gals from Anuna, Kate McMahon, has an album 
out called After the Morning. She does a fair rendition of it on there, as 
well as the title song After the Morning. Check it out. A

Melissa Frolli

To see a world in a grain of sand,
and heaven in a wild flower
To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and Eternity in an hour.
    -- William Blake, "Into to Songs of Innocence"

>From: "Lisa and Ken Theriot" <lnktheriot at>
>To: <minstrel at>
>Subject: Re: minstrel: Tom O' Bedlam, Calino
>Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 10:48:31 -0500
>As Greg said, the trouble with dating this song is the large number of
>variants.  Chappell (Old English Popular Music) goes on for pages.  The
>first important thing to know is that the "Mad Maudlin goes on dirty
>toes" version, which is the one you hear most often, comes from "Pills
>to Purge Melancholy" (as "Mad Maudlin to find out Tom of Bedlam", vol.
>II, p. 192) and dates only to 1700/1707:
>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
>Mad Maudlin makes an earlier appearance in "Wit and Drollery" in 1656:
>Forth from the Elysian fields
>A place of restless souls
>Mad Maudlin is come to seek her naked Tom
>Hell's fury she controls...
>The opening verse given with the early tune is:
>From the hagg and hungrie goblin
>That into rags would rend yee
>And the spirit that stands by the naked man
>In the booke of moones defend yee
>While I do sing any foode, any feeding,
>Feeding, drinke or clothing
>Come dame or maid, be not afraid
>Poore Tom will injure nothing.
>The tune with the "dirty toes" version is also described as "an
>imperfect copy" of the earlier tune, which is pretty charitable, since
>to my ear it is VERY different, though you can see similarities.
>Chappell gives the music from a "MS. of Virginal Music in the possession
>of Dr. Rimbault; Musick's Delight on the Cithren, 1666, &c.", which
>stands a good chance of being the original broadside tune, so if you
>can't find Simpson, perhaps you can find Chappell (I got mine off eBay
>for $5, a very happy steal...).  Failing that, I can try to scan it and
>send it to you, or send a copy via snail mail.
>According to the notes in Chappell, the "Tom of Bedlam" character became
>popular after the dissolution of religious houses by Henry VIII, which
>action caused lots of infirm of mind to wander the countryside who were
>formerly cared for in alms houses by convents and monasteries.
>Apparently otherwise healthy layabouts discovered that running around
>half naked and sticking pins in your flesh was a good way to make a
>living (if you've ever seen the Monty Python sketch about professional
>village idiots, it's not as far off as it sounds).  A class of beggars,
>called variously "Tom's flock of wild geese", "Poor Toms", and "Abraham
>Men" were described in _Bellman of London_ in 1616.
>On an unrelated note, I don't know why I didn't check Chappell when I
>was looking up Calino Casturame, but he preserves an Anglicized Gaelic
>title of "Colleen Oge Astore", which is clearly <Caoilinn O/g> for the
>first part.  My best guess is for the full title would be "Caoilinn o/g
>na h-astair mi", 'my fair young lady (whom I love) at a distance from
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