Tuesday, September 26, 2006

To a sweetheart, a bodhran

So the teetotalers were assigned to one particular table: right smack-dab in the middle of the reception hall, the furthest point from either bar. The alcohol was flowing like the Liffey, but we didn't care. We made exotic animals out of our cloth napkins, oogled the bridesmaids, and conquered the dance floor.

One hour left before we were all to be evicted, we extended our campaign to include the band. While the thirsty lads satiated themselves, we hefted their instruments and began to belt out a tune. Behold, The Temperates! Never, in the history of Ireland, has a wedding band sounded so mellifluous. Of course, we were of the sober sort and our crowd was in fine fluthered form -- this helped immensely. Regardless, when all was sung and done, even the band applauded our efforts.

These old hands come alive when playing the bodhran. I pretend its an overgrown bottlecap and I'm lumping up some grotesque demons. Later, the owner told me the instrument was made with kangaroo skin, which is what I learned many of the newer models are being outfitted with. I couldn't contain my smile. "Oh my, next you'll tell me your uilleann pipes are crafted from koala." He was stricken with laughter; he was drunk.

We belted out a handful of spry ditties, all picked on account of the special occasion. Two are listed here, played infinitely better than us by the much acclaimed Boys Of The Lough: "Hillswick Wedding/Robertson's Reel" and "La Grande Chaine/The Newlyweds' Reel."