Mad Tom of Bedlam

Dave Moran writes "Nic and I and mandolin/guitar player Nigel Patterson made up the Halliard. We were looking to develop some new music and we took the advice of song- writer Leslie Shepard.

We decided to add tunes to Broadsides that we discovered, uncovered or collected – we checked out the Harkness Collection at Preston and the collections in Manchester etc.

We also used Ashton's Street Ballads and Victorian Street Ballads ( Henderson) and on a couple of occasions we dipped into Thomas D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy that is where we found Mad Maudlin (Tom of Bedlam or the Boys of Bedlam).

Nic and I wrote all the tunes together usually sitting in the front of the Mini and singing and working out tunes as we drove – as the mandolin was the smallest instrument and Nigel was in the back, he always played the tunes.

'Jones and Moran' wrote a heap of songs like this including Lancashire Lads, Going for a Soldier Jenny, Miles Weatherhill, Calico printers Clerk etc.

We wrote the tunes to fit the words and sometimes added or altered words, as in The Workhouse Boy.

So Nic and I wrote the tune to D'Urfeys words of Mad Maudlin – audiences were confused and stunned – it was very surreal...

We did a booking in the Midlands and an unaccompanied foursome called the Farriers loved the song and asked if they could sing it unaccompanied. We said sure – they were very good a bit like the Young Tradition. I believe that is how it got into the mainstream. We may well have recorded it [for a second Saga LP called Heroes & Villains] but there were royalty issues and now sadly the tape is now lost. There were some good songs on it. I actually have Nigel's written top line music and chords over the top, and words, to many of our songs because we were going to put a songbook out to back up that LP.

We finally put [some] out with Jon Raven but we were too busy touring I guess. Included is the music to Mad Maudlin. About a year ago when the fuss about Nic began to resurface and Mike Raven put out the Halliard Double with the Ravens & BC3, I looked up an article in Dirty Linen on the internet and some American had tracked the song and said that he had recorded it and then discovered that Nic and I wrote the music from an acknowledement in a Steeleye Span Songbook."

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