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Sat, 24 Sep 2005

I am your Worst Nightmare

There's a definite hierarchy to instruments in a session, and the bottom is taken up by bodhran players. There's something about that little skin-covered circle that seems to bring out the worst in some people. A little tip for the tipper folks - if you can't sing (or lilt or whistle) the tune, you shouldn't be playing it.

Here are a few words from Patrick Ourceau, via Mike Todd (who's actually a good bodhran player, and doesn't feel compelled to play every tune)

this middle age woman came into a session [Parick] was at with maybe Jack Coen....and she asks to play....the only place to put her was between Coen and Patrick...and they looked meaningfully at each other...but it seems either she was too scared to play much or barely played at all. So anyway, after a few tunes Coen turns to her and says [apparently he was famous for his oblique remarks] "Indeed, you're one of the best bodhran players I've ever met -- you hardly played at all." Apparently her eyes lit up and then a look of puzzlement crossed her face. patrick said it was one of the funniest things he'd ever heard

[S]ome old boy described a terrible bodhran player at a session in Ireland that Patrick was at as "did ye get a look at that lad now [motioning to the bodhran player]..... doesn't he he sound like an ass trying to kick through a door?"

but i think the best was, when Patrick told me he was playing at some feis, and all these girls were there with the wigs, and elaborate dresses...[they can go a little overboard sometimes....I was saying to Patrick how you always knew you were in trouble when people showed up at sessions with bodhrans that had "celtic" designs on them...always a bad sign]. Anyway, Patrick turns to some other old boy fiddler in the circle and says "Now, Tom, what do you think of that? "[meaning the elaborate design one on the girl's dresses]. And the old boy says, "Well, you know Patrick, to me it seems to me like she swallowed the whole Book of Kells and then vomitted it up over herself."

And you'll know you're really in trouble when you look up and find somebody's brought one of these to the local session...

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