Tom O' Bedlam's Song

Note: Alternative wordings are in parethesise, as in "...naked (rougish) ..."
For to see Mad Tom of Bedlam
Ten thousand miles I traveled
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.

     Alternative Corus
     While I do sing, any food
  Feeding drink or clothing?
  Come dame or maid, be not afraid,
  Poor Tom will injure nothing.
"While I do sing" can alternate with "And I do Sing", "But I do sing", "Although I sing", "Yet I do sing".

     Another Alternative Corus
     But I will find Bonny Maud, merry mad Maud
  And seek whate'er betides her
  Yet I will love beneath or above
  The dirty earth that hides her.

I went down to Satan's kitchen
To break my fast one morning
And there I got souls piping hot
All on the spit a-turning.

There I took 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
To cut mince pies from children's thighs
For which to feed the fairies.

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.

From the hag and hungry goblin
That into rags would rend ye,
All the sprites that stand by the naked man
In the book of moons, defend ye.

With a thought I took for Maudlin,
And a cruse of cockle pottage,
With a thing thus tall, Sky bless you all,
I befell into this dotage.

I slept not since the Conquest,
Till then I never waked,
Till the naked (rougish) boy of love where I lay
Me found and stript me naked.

I know more than Apollo,
For oft when he lies sleeping
I see the stars at mortal wars
In the wounded welkin weeping.

The moon embrace her shepherd,
And the Queen of Love her warrior,
While the first doth horn the star of morn,
And the next the heavenly farrier.

Of thirty years have I
Twice twenty been enragéd
And of forty been three times fifteen
In durance soundly cagéd

On the lordly lofts of Bedlam
With stubble soft and dainty,
Brave bracelets strong, sweet whips, ding-dong,
With wholesome hunger plenty.

When I short have shorn my sour-face(sow's face)(sowce face)
And swigged my horny barrel
In an oaken inn, I pound my skin
As a suit of gilt apparel.

The moon's my constant mistress,
And the lonely owl my marrow;
The flaming drake and the night crow make
Me music to my sorrow.

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

And then 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.

With a host of furious fancies,
Whereof I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air
To the wilderness I wander.

By a knight of ghosts and shadows
I summoned am to tourney
Ten leagues beyond the wide world's end-
Methinks it is no journey.

The palsy plagues my pulses
When I prig your pigs or pullen
Your culvers take, or matchless make
Your Chanticleer or sullen.

When I want provant, with Humphry
I sup, an when benighted
I repose in Paul's with waking souls,
Yet never am affrighted.

The Gipsys, Snap and Pedro
Are none of Tom's comradoes,
The punk I scorn, and the cutpurse sworn
And the roaring boy's bravadoes.

The meek, the white, the gentle,
Me handle not nor spare not;
But those that cross Tom Rhinoceros(Rynosseross)
Do what the panther dare not

That of your five sound senses
You never be forsaken,
Nor wander from your selves with Tom
Abroad to beg your bacon.

I'll bark against the Dog-Star
I'll crow away the morning
I'll chase the Moon till it be noon
And I'll make her leave her horning.

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

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

Thanks to German Santanilla, Jackie Sheen, and Brooke Chappell for additional verses and the alternative chorus.

There are a lot of ways of arranging the verses. Put together the food references and use the alternative corus, and it sounds like poor Tom is begging for his supper.

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