The Bodhran

I’m quite serious about wanting people to send in guest posts about their instruments. They don’t have be ‘hymns of praise’ – but this one kind of is. Sung to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic.

 

I have bought myself a bodhran – it’s a kind of Irish drum.

Some pronounce it ‘boor-in’ and some say it’s ‘boor-a-run’.

The borin’ bit is other players talking through their bum –

My god they do go on!

 

Chorus:

Play the bodhran like you mean it, play the bodhran like you mean it,

Play the bodhran like you mean it or don’t play it at all.

 

‘Hold it over a light-bulb, stretch the skin upon the frame –

A candle’s more traditional but the drum may go up in flame.’

I’m sure I heard a punter mutter ‘What an utter shame!’ –

My god they do go on.

 

‘Wet it down with water if it’s getting tight to play –

Some people still use Guinness but that rots the skin away.’

‘A dreadful waste of Guinness!’ half the pub was heard to say –

My god they do go on.

 

‘It’s tuned to A so take it away and give the thing a hit.

Bang it in the middle then the side a little bit.

Girl control the resonance – tuck it underneath your tit!’ –

My god they do go on.

 

‘To play ¾ in a 6/8 tune it is a mortal sin.

Now triplet, triplet rest and maybe stick a rim-shot in.

What’s your bodhran made of? Mine is elm and zebu skin’ –

My god they do go on.

 

So now I am a banger – fellow-bangers, let me hail ya!

We play the stringless banjo with no sense of shame or failure.

We all speak bodhranese and we can bore ‘em for Australia!

My god we do go on.

 

Play the bodhran like you mean it, play the bodhran like you mean it,

Play the bodhran like you mean it or [with feeling] don’t – play – it – at – all!

 

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