This is a seriously catchy song. I heard it once on the radio (thanks again, WERS!) and *had* to know what it was. As I described last week, the discovery loop is shortened immensely– you can go from hearing a snippet somewhere to finding out the name to listening on YouTube to downloading it within minutes.
So- the song is called Mad Tom of Bedlam, and it’s based on a 17th century song. The lyrics are pretty much unchanged, but the tune is something Billie Holiday would have knocked out of the park 70 years ago. It’s by Jolie Holland.
These words have been spinning in my head for weeks now:
It’s well that we sing bonney boys
Bonney mad boys
Bedlam boys are bonney
For they all go bare, and they live in the air
And they want no drink nor money