Archives for category: Tom O’Bedlam

It seems I have found something rather glorious – Tom O’Bedlam appears to be a gentleman who records poetry on to YouTube – all sorts of poetry. Beautifully read, deep and rich. Absolutely wonderful. Just put your favourite title into the internet with ‘Tom O’Bedlam’ – and enjoy – really superb and has meant that I haven’t done anything ‘useful’ – all day… just been listening to all sorts and loving it…marvellous. I wish there were a CD, but it seems its just for YouTube…

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Hillaire Belloc wrote about Jim, and Stanley Holloway wrote about Albert – both are marvellous. Though I suppose nowadays there would be more of a fuss… There is a rather disturbing (but brilliant) rendition of Jim on YouTube – read by Tom O’Bedlam, who I think rather enjoyed recording it.  As to Albert – he similarly came to a rather bad end. I love the language of both – classics…

Jim

JIM, WHO RAN AWAY

There was a Boy whose name was Jim;
His Friends were very good to him.
They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam,
And slices of delicious Ham,
And Chocolate with pink inside,
And little Tricycles to ride,
And read him Stories through and through,
And even took him to the Zoo—
But there it was the dreadful Fate
Befell him, which I now relate.

You know—at least you ought to know.
For I have often told you so—
That Children never are allowed
To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;

Now this was Jim’s especial Foible,
He ran away when he was able,
And on this inauspicious day
He slipped his hand and ran away!
He hadn’t gone a yard when—Bang!
With open Jaws, a Lion sprang,
And hungrily began to eat
The Boy: beginning at his feet.

Now just imagine how it feels
When first your toes and then your heels,
And then by gradual degrees,
Your shins and ankles, calves and knees,
Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.

No wonder Jim detested it!
No wonder that he shouted “Hi!”
The Honest Keeper heard his cry,
Though very fat he almost ran
To help the little gentleman.
“Ponto!” he ordered as he came
(For Ponto was the Lion’s name),
“Ponto!” he cried, with angry Frown.
“Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!”

The Lion made a sudden Stop,
He let the Dainty Morsel drop,
And slunk reluctant to his Cage,
Snarling with Disappointed Rage
But when he bent him over Jim,
The Honest Keeper’s eyes were dim.
The Lion having reached his Head,
The Miserable Boy was dead!

When Nurse informed his Parents, they
Were more Concerned than I can say:—
His Mother, as She dried her eyes,
Said, “Well—it gives me no surprise,
He would not do as he was told!”
His Father, who was self-controlled,
Bade all the children round attend
To James’ miserable end,
And always keep a-hold of Nurse
For fear of finding something worse.

Albert’s end adventure was slightly different. One should never push a stick with an ‘orse’s ‘ead ‘andle into anyone’s ear….

THE LION AND ALBERT

There’s a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That’s noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.

A grand little lad was young Albert,
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
With a stick with an ‘orse’s ‘ead ‘andle,
The finest that Woolworth’s could sell.

They didn’t think much to the Ocean:
The waves, they was fiddlin’ and small,
There was no wrecks and nobody drownded,
Fact, nothing to laugh at at all.

So, seeking for further amusement,
they paid and went into the Zoo,
Where they’d Lions and Tigers and Camels,
And old ale and sandwiches too.

There were one great big Lion called Wallace;
His nose were all covered with scars-
He lay in a somnolent posture,
With the side of his face on the bars.

Now Albert had heard about Lions,
How they was ferocious and wild-
To see Wallace lying so peaceful,
Well, it didn’t seem right to the child.

So straightway the brave little feller,
Not showing a morsel of fear,
Took his stick with it’s’orse’s ‘ead ‘andle
…And pushed it in Wallace’s ear.

You could see that the Liion didn’t like it,
For giving a kind of a roll,
He pulled Albert inside the cage with ‘im,
And swallowed the little lad ‘ole.

Then Pa, who had seen the occurence,
And didn’t know what to do next,
Said “Mother! Yon Lion’s ‘et Albert”,
And Mother said, ‘Well I am vexed!”

Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom-
Quite rightly, when all’s said and done-
Complained to the Animal Keeper,
That the Lion had eaten their son.

The keeper was quite nice about it;
He said “What a nasty mishap.
Are you sure that it’s your boy he’s eaten?”
Pa said “Am I sure? There’s his cap!”

The manager had to be sent for.
He came and he said “What’s to do?”
Pa said “Yon Lion’s ‘et Albert,
And ‘im in his Sunday clothes, too.”

The Mother said, “Right’s right, young feller;
I think it’s a shame and a sin,
For a lion to go and eat Albert,
And after we’ve paid to come in.”

The manager wanted no trouble,
He took out his purse right away,
Saying “How much to settle the matter?”
And Pa said “What do you usually pay?”

But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone.
She said “No! someone’s got to be summonsed”-
So that was decided upon.

Then off they went to the P’lice Station,
In front of the Magistrate chap;
They told ‘im what happened to Albert,
And proved it by showing his cap.

The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.

At that Mother got proper blazing,
“And thank you, sir, kindly,” said she.
“What waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy Lions? Not me!”