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Posted by shanoah on August 7, 2009

All right, since neither of us have posted, think I’ll post something that I know well enough that I could do it in my sleep. (though hopefully not particularly boring.)

I’ve expressed my interest, or perhaps obsession with the song Bedlam Boys before, which also goes by a few other titles. It’s a cool song with a million verses, and everyone plays it differently.

The song is about someone in Bedlam, the Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane. In some of its incarnations, it’s about someone from its sister institution, Maudlin, the Hospital of St Mary Madelene, who falls in love with Mad Tom O’ Bedlam.

As it’s supposed to be about someone who is insane, it encourages unusual takes on the song. Here is one such, Mad Toms Song by Bluehorses. They’ve set the song to some wonderfully discordant rock music. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of it was improvised.

And you’ll note that they’ve modified the verse structure, too. Cool performance.

And here’s Old Blind Dogs playing the song in a fairly traditional yet fairly modern arrangement. This video actually has both the studio version and a live version. Live version actually sounds somewhat better to my ears.

And here, of course, is Maddy Prior of Steeleye Span‘s slightly cracked take on the song. Quite different from Steeleye Spans take on it, really, and a lot more lighthearted.


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