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Mad Tom of Bedlam

By Jolie Holland

To see Mad Tom of Bedlam,
Ten thousand miles I’ve traveled
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes
For to save her shoes from gravel

It’s well that we sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live in the air,
And they want no drink nor money.

My staff has murdered giants
And my pack a long knife carries
For to slice mince pies from children’s thighs,
From which to feed the faeries

It’s well that we sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live in the air,
And they want no drink nor money.

I went down to Satan’s Kitchen
For to break my fast one morning
And there I got souls piping hot
All on the spit a-turning

It’s well that we sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live in the air,
And they want no drink nor money.

A spirit howled as lightning
Did on that journey guide me
The sun did shake and the pale moon quake
Whenever they did spy me

It’s well that we sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live in the air,
And they want no drink nor money.

Tonight I’ll go a-murdering
The man in the moon to a powder
His dog I’ll shake and his staff I’ll break
And I’ll howl a little bit louder

It’s well that we sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live in the air,
And they want no drink nor money.

To see Mad Tom of Bedlam,
Ten thousand miles I’ve traveled
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes
For to save her shoes from gravel

It’s well that we sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live in the air,
And they want no drink nor money.

JOLIE HOLLAND

After founding the Be Good Tanyas — a neo-traditionalist folk outfit — 28-year old Jolie Holland burst onto the music scene with her 2004 studio debut Escondida. Today,  the Texan songstress has three solo albums under her belt — 2006’s Springtime Can Kill You and 2008’s The Living and the Dead — and has staked her claim mixing elements of folk, swing jazz, and country over scattered rhythms and bluesy vocals. You can hear more elegant, homegrown tunes from Jolie Holland here.

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