Heindrich's Doolin Disaster (The Bodhrán Song)

WORDS: Tim Lyons
MUSIC: Trad. Arr. Lyons/Dennehy
BODHRÁN: Maurice Griffin
WHISTLES: Tommy Keane

Tim Lyons is a Corkman now living in Galway and over the past fifteen years has written prolifically on such subjects as the weather, fast food and potholes. This time Tim takes us on a wild trip to Doolin. There we meet Heindrich who has fallen deeply in love with the hypnotic sound of the bodhrán with disastrous consequences.

Oh my name is Heindrich Schnitzel
And from Germany I do come
Of all the music in the world
I much do like the drum.
I late have been to Ireland
Where musicianers play til dawn.
'Twas there my heart did fall in love
With a drum they call bodhrán.

One day I'm going to Doolin
Famed in music, song and dance
And as I did hug my Furstenburg
My mind was in a trance
For there behind two fiddles
In between a box and flute
A thunderous bang and a goaty whang
The air it did pollute.

Oh this hairy drum my mind did numb
In love with it I fell
And I strongly did desire it
Despite the awful smell.
Enquiries then I soon did make
My mind being sorely bent
On if and how and where
I'd procure this instrument.

I approached this bodhrán driver now
Being drunken with the sound,
'To purchase one of these bodhráns
Will cost you fifty pounds.'
My blood did race at a gross pace
Beneath my wallet thick
He then did roar, 'sixteen pounds more
For canvas bag and stick'.

'Oh Mein Gott then' I'm exclaiming,
'This is most expensive loot.
At home we're not paying this
For a silvery concert flute.
'Tisn't rightly known,' says he to me,
'Or I don't give a hoot
So loan a gun from off someone
And your own goat you can shoot'.

Well this seemed to me a bright idea
And became my sole intent
For we German Huns are good with guns
And brainy to invent.
That very day without delay
A shotgun I did borrow.
Says I, 'I'll have my own goatskin
This evening or tomorrow'.

Upon the Burren mountain -tops
I stealthily did creep
Across its craggy rooftops
Into its valleys deep.
There suddenly appeared to me
A herd of mighty goats
With horns high and yellow eye
Thick manes and shaggy coats.

As they thundered by I then let fly
My Ely's number five.
When the smoke it cleared
It soon appeared these goats were still alive.
I pursued them with alacrity
'Til my legs were nearly lame.
It was no good in vain I stood
To Doolin then I came

And as I came up by Fisher Street
My spirits dragging low
I heard a thick and heavy voice
Crying out, 'hello, hello.
I observe a deadly weapon here
And pray is it your own.
Where is the licence for this gun
To me it must be shown'.

'Well the truth to you I'll plainly tell
No licence have I got
For I borrowed it from Jerry Smith
To have a sporting shot'.
'Smith how do I'm arresting you
A subversive you must be
From some revolting movement
In far-off Germany'.

Here I lie in Ennis jail
Lamenting my condition.
The gardaí found me guilty
Ten pounds fine and extradition.
The sergeant swore me life away
The judge he called me barmy,
'You're a Bader Meinhoff refugee
Or a member of Red Army!'

Farewell to Ireland's hills of green
Far famed in song and poem
Farewell to Burren's rocky slopes
Where wild Bodhráns do roam.
If ever I return again
I'll shoot no goat or kid
And when I want to play my drum
I'll pay up my fifty quid.