The Orange Lilly "O"

The Orange Lilly "O"

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Oul Lambeg Drum (V)

The instrument now that I want to describe
Is the greatest that ever a man did contrive
Its size and its sound are second to none
I’m referring of course to the oul lambeg drum.

There are many who think they know how it’s done
A secret passed down from father to son
But a good drum is different by a fraction of a tone
How to get them to do it not many have known.

The things I’ve picked up can’t be found in your books
They’re part of the knowledge of James Michael Crooks
Drum maker and player of quite some repute
A gentleman, scholar, that none can dispute.

The first is the body that’s known as the shell
A thin piece of oak with two hoops as well
Over the flesh hoops a skin on each side
What better use for a white she goat’s hide.

The brace hoops and rope are all that is left
To tension the drum and give of its best
With a pull here and there and a slip of a knot
Then have a wee drop just to see what you’ve got.

Now comes the skill as you balance each side
A tap here and there to tension the hide
Lively and drunk, yet not to bare
Listen to her whistle as she blows out the air.

And now to the drummer each one with his beat
As he rolls her right up ‘tis a sound oh so sweet
Don’t kill her with weight. Keep her light and in time
Hold her up to the judges and all will be fine.

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