Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Art-For-Art’s-Sake Theatre: “Tom O’ Bedlam”

Time once again for our usual midday Wednesday feature.

This being All Hallows Eve, we feature an anonymous tale from the 16th century, performed here by Jeana Leslie and Siobhan Miller. The song also known as "Bedlam Boys" is about the Saint Mary Bethlehem hospital in London (now called Bethlem Royal Hospital; "Bedlam," if you will) which housed the insane. During the 18th century it was a popular diversion to visit the hospital to watch the antics of the poor inmates. For an admission of one pence, visitors would bring to the hospital an income of four hundred pounds a year.

Yours truly was introduced to this ballad by John Roberts and Tony Barrand, whose version is still the all-time favorite. But hey, these gals are shot in live action, and they weren't, so have at it.

And beware of whatever goes bump in the night, y'hear?

(H/T to Fire on McGinnis for commentary.)

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