Recently whilst doing a little research into Lambeg Drums, I came across this poem written by Mr. Seamus Heaney - Ireland's most famous poet.
I posted this poem on a Facebook forum that I am a member of and got quite a number of responses, many of them very critical of Mr. Heaney.
In my opinion Mr. Heaney is misguided, prejudiced and ill-informed, perhaps he should have tried a little to understand the music and the tradition of the fife & lambeg drum / lambeg drumming tradition a little more before penning this tripe!!
Here is the poem written, it is alleged in 1966 - prior to 'The Troubles'
The lambeg balloons at this belly, weighs
His back on his haunches, lodging thunder
Grossly there between his chin and his knees:
... He is raised up by what he buckles under.
Each arm extended by a seasoned rod,
He parades behind it. And though the drummers
Are granted passage through the nodding crowd
It is the drums preside like giant tumers.
Training the note of hate on the ear's greed,
His battered signature subscribes 'No Pope'.
The pigskin's scourged until his knuckles bleed.
The air is pounding like a stethoscope.
Mr. Heaney should buy they read a copy of Rev. Gary Hastings excellent book With Fife & Drum music, memories and customs of an Irish tradition then try to understand why we - from the fife and lambeg drum musical tradition, play our instruments!