“There Was a Man and He Was Mad”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1939 (Eddy)
Keywords: humorous talltale
Found in: US(MW)

Description

The madman spends his life jumping into things -- pudding bag, bottle of wine, bottle of beer, notched stick, etc. Finding each one unsatisfactory, he moves on to the next. Finally he winds up in a situation he cannot handle, and quits/dies

Supplemental text

There Was a Man and He Was Mad
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From Mary O. Eddy, Ballads and Songs from Ohio, #99, pp. 223-224.
From Mrs. H. E. Deal, Canton, Ohio. She had it from her mother,
who reported learning it in her youth in Staffordshite.

1. There was a man and he was mad,
   And he blowed up the pudding bag

2. But the pudding bag it was so fine
   That he jumped into a bottle of wine.

3. The bottle of wine it was so clear
   That he jumped into a bottle of beer.

4. The bottle of beer it was so thick
   That he jumped into a notche stick.

5. The notche stick it was so narrow
   That he jumped into a wheelbarrow.

6. The wheelbarrow it did so wheel
   That he jumped onto a horse's back.

7. The horse's back it did so bend
   That he jumped into a taching end.

8. The taching end it was so rotten
   That he jumped into a bag of cotton.

9. The bag of cotton it set on fire,
   And blowed him up to Jeremiah!
       Pouf! Pouf! Pouf!

Recordings

References

  1. Eddy 99, "There Was a Man and He was Mad" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Opie-Oxford2 321, "There was a man, he went mad" (1 text)
  3. Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #178, p. 128, "(There was a man, he went mad)"
  4. ST E099 (Full)
  5. Roud #5336
  6. BI, E099