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The Bodhran Drum – Auntie Betty Gets a Volunteer to Play the Irish Bodhran



If you have been to one of the Sheila-M shows you would know that a “volunteer” would sometimes find their way on stage. In this instance, the volunteer, Patrick, is playing the Bodhran drum, or “Irish Bodhram”, whilst Auntie Betty (Sheila-M) plays guitar and sings. The song is “The Pat Kav” which is a spinoff from the song “Lisdoonvarna” by Christy Moore. The Pat Kav is actually The Patrick Kavanagh Pub in Moseley, Birmingham, England, where the Sheila-M Show was being held!


The Irish Bodhran – Auntie Betty Teaches A Volunteer How To Play Bodhran Drum


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The Bodhran Drum – Auntie Betty Gets A Volunteer To Play The Irish Bodhram – Audio Transcription

Auntie Betty: Now, oh yes actually! Before we do this song, now, you may have noticed this instrument here (points to an instrument at the rear of the stage on the floor.) Does anybody know what this is?

Female In Audience: I do. I do!

Auntie Betty: No, no, you can’t guess cause you’ve played with it before! Does anybody know, what this is? (Auntie Betty picks it up and shows the audience.)

Audience: Various members of the audience make suggestions.

Auntie Betty:: Ohhhhh, well done Peter, excellent! A “Bodhram” or Boran as it’s said in English terms, or Liam, what’s this called?

Liam: Boran.

Auntie Betty:: Oh, he says it the same way. I know it as a Boraan! So this is an Irish drum, right, and you play it a bit like a pen. It’s like … (Auntie Betty demonstrates the playing of the Bodhram.) What do you think of that?

Audience: Cheers and claps!

Auntie Betty:: What do you think of that? (Audience still cheering and clapping.) Now, who wants to give it a go? He, he,he (Auntie Betty laughs as audience goes quiet). What’s your name sir? (As Auntie Betty points to someone in the audience.) No, no no! You, you with the nice fancy shirt! What’s your name?

Patrick: I’m called Patrick.

Auntie Betty:: Patrick! Come on here! Give him a big round of applause! Come on up here Patrick. Come on for the craick of it.

Audience: Clapping while Patrick goes on stage.

Auntie Betty:: Excellent stuff there. What’s that, oh your glasses, feck it you might need those. Ok, stand up here beside me. Ok, now you hold it like this! (Auntie Betty demomstrates holding the drum.)

Patrick: Ah ha.

Auntie Betty:: Have you played one of these before?

Patrick: No.

Auntie Betty:: He’s a fine strapping looking lad isn’t he? Are you single Patrick?

Patrick: Just carry on. (Patrick points to the drum.)

Audience: Starts laughing.

Auntie Betty:: With what? (While audience is still laughing.) Ok, there you go, put your hand in there. Yes, excellent, ohhh you’ve got a firm grip I see Patrick. (Audience laughs.) And you hold this like a pen! (Auntie Betty demonstrating how to holdthe drum stick.)

Patrick: Ah ha.

Auntie Betty:: Ok?

Patrick: Right!

Auntie Betty:: You can see what he does when he’s alone! No no! Yes? Knock? (Auntie Betty demonstrating holding the drum stick.)

Patrick: That’s no good is it? (After having a go at it.)

Auntie Betty:: Well, what you do is kind of do is hold it out so. (As she demostrates to Patrick again.) Sorry, I didn’t mean to hit your nipple then! Just trying to turn him on actually! (As Auntie Betty goes back to the mic!) But anyway! So give it a good banging! Come on Patrick! Ok! (After Patrick has a bang!) Not bad, not bad! How about if we try it this way! (Auntie Betty demostrates another way of banging.)

Auntie Betty::

Auntie Betty:: Ok! Go for it Patrick! (Patrick bangs away vigorously!) He’s good at banging! (Audience laughs at the inuendo.) Ok, right. We’re gonna have a bit of a ssss. (Interrupted by Patrick.)

Patrick:: Can I go now!

Auntie Betty:: No you can’t! You’ve gotta play! You’re part of my band. The Auntie Betty Band! Ok. Now. (Audience laughs as Auntie Betty gets ready to play the guitara.) … You don’t drink Patrick do you? (As she gulps down some water.) Ok, right, now! The chorus goes like this. (Auntie Betty sings.)

Ohhhhh, The Pat Kav!
Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat Kav!

Auntie Betty:: (Auntie Betty stop singing and Patrick carries on banging!) Ok, we’re gonns try that! You’re meant to plat it while I’m playing it, at the same time. (Big laugh from the audience.)

Patrick:: You didn’t tell me! (While audience is still laughing.)

Auntie Betty:: Alright, ok, sorry Patrick! Ok. You like a woman to lead, don’t ya! I could certainly lead you “astray” if you like! Ok! So we play, one, two three! (Looking at Patrick to count him in.) I want you to sing along with it! (Pointing to the audience.)

Auntie Betty & Audience::

Ohhhhh, The Pat Kav!
Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat, Pat Kav!

Auntie Betty:: That was very goog wasn’t it! (Gesturing towards Patrick and the audience applaud.) OK! Now! (Auntie Betty prepares to sing the whole song. Sorry, come watch a show to hear it! LOL)

Resources On The Bodhran:

1. Lisdoonvarna is the name of a town in Co. Clare which is well known for its festvals! For those of you interested, take a look at the Lisdoonvarna Video or read the Lisdoonvarna Lyrics.

2. If you want to known how to pronounce Bodhran or know more about it, take a look at the Wikipedia entry.

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