Playing the bodhran, an Irish frame drum

{Only 4 things to go to complete 101 things in 1001 days!}

Play Molly Malone on bodhran with family band

Squeezed into a little Irish pub, a pub that looked exactly like what a movie set of an Irish pub would look like, I held my pint and smiled. This was the Ireland of my dreams and one of the moments I had come across an ocean for. The session unfolded before us, classic Irish music, but modern too. Young people with old souls played and played, musicians sitting in and leaving frequently in fluid groupings.

The moment at this music festival coalesced into perfection: joyful music, an adoring crowd, my children and husband with me on our first international trip.

In a pause between songs, an Irish gentleman sitting at the bar broke out into a ballad, filling the room with his baritone, filling my heart with a happiness that seemed to reach back for generations into my family’s past.

The session musicians started again. The young man on the bodhran, an Irish drum, struck me the most as he played with exuberant abandon.

Music session, Ireland

So a bodhran was carried by me from Ireland to the U.S. and put upon my wall. I vowed to play it one day.

One of my sons plays the clarinet, one the violin, and my husband plays guitar, so I took the drum in our little quartet. We hammered out a version of “Molly Malone,” the tart with the cart. I cannot hold a rhythm to the amazement of my naturally talented family. They played along the best they could.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was sweet.

tart with a cart
My son Dan with the “tart with the cart” in Dublin, 2006

P.S. I was allowed to record our session on the promise that I would never post the recording, so you are spared from having to listen to it.

You can imagine me playing like one of these lovely women if you wish. [Update: the original video I posted is no longer available, but here is another one.]

Related posts:

101 things in 1001 days #31 (101 things in 1001 days): Record a song with me playing a bodhran with my family.

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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7 Responses to Playing the bodhran, an Irish frame drum

  1. The singing pubs in Ireland were my favorites! Pubs in Ireland — at least in Dublin and other larger cities — specialize. Storytelling pubs, singing pubs, dart pubs, and some very serious drinking pubs (well, maybe that’s all of them on one level or another). But pubs hold such an important place in the social and intellectual life of Ireland … and they are always so warm and welcoming. Sigh. I wish we could go back again, just once.
    Marilyn Armstrong recently posted..999 BEFORE THE CRASH – STATS AND STATSMy Profile

  2. Rose says:

    Oh, Marcy…that looks like fun! I was waiting for the video at the again, but alas, no luck. Maybe you can talk your family into doing it again and letting you post the video. 😀
    Rose recently posted..Sometimes, You Can Just Be DoneMy Profile

  3. Adrian says:

    I love Irish music. I’ve been listening to a fiddle and cello arrangement at work and I find it very soothing. I would love to play a bodhran #SITSSharefest
    Adrian recently posted..3 Surprisingly Simple Tips for Healthy EatingMy Profile

  4. tedstrutz says:

    My son-in-law is from Dublin all I have to ask him if he knows what a bodhran is and if he knows where the ‘tart with the cart’ is. I would love to see those two girls perform, how exciting… And you too, of course.j
    tedstrutz recently posted..The Speakeasy #140… ETHEL & CHERYL WRITE A STORYMy Profile

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