Bedlam

introduced by Keith Kendrick

This wonderful version of “Bedlam” was collected by Cecil Sharp from Jack Barnard in Bridgewater 1906. I found it in Book 2 of The Crystal Spring: English Folk Songs, and I've been singing it since the 1970s.

Having seemingly been cruelly cheated out of her loved one (who, incidentally must have been either a thoroughly nasty piece of work or simply a complete and utter prat!) by jealous or unthinking friends, this poor girl, suffering probably only from a bout of melancholy, finds herself inappropriately dumped in a mental institution mistakenly diagnosed as slightly loopy, an all too common occurrence in days gone by – and not totally unheard of in more recent times either!

LIsten to Keith and Sylvia Needham sing the tune:

[cincopa A4NAoeej8tko]

 

Score BedlamClick on the image for a downloadable PDF

LYRICS:

Abroad as I was walking one morning in the spring
I met a maid in Bedlam so sweetly did a-sing.
Her chain she rattled with her hands and thus did smile and say:
“I love my love because I know he first loved me.”

“My love he was sent from me by friends who were unkind,
They sent him far beyond the sea and that torments my mind.
And though I suffer for his sake contented will I be
For I love my love because I know he first loved me.”

“My love will not come near me to hear the moan I make
And neither would he pity me if my poor heart should break
And though I suffer for his sake contented will I be
For I love my love because I know he first loved me.”

“Oh Johnny, lovely Johnny, are you my love or no?”
“Ah Nancy, dearest Nancy, I’ve proved your overthrow.”
“And though I suffered for his sake contented will I be
For I love my love because I know he first loved me.
For I love my love because I know he first loved me.”

 

Vocal and instrumental music, social and ceremonial dance have all played a role in Keith Kendrick’s career, which has spanned over five decades. Together with Sylvia Needham he performs extensively all over the UK, Europe and beyond. They sing a capella or accompany themselves and play lively dance tunes on three different systems of Concertina.

 

     
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