‘Lambeg Boogie Makes You Feel Good’: Irish Drum Track Transcends Politics | North Ireland

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It is one of the loudest musical instruments in the world and it thunders across Northern Ireland during Loyalist March season.

While loyalists view the Lambeg drum as part of a centuries-old legacy, many nationalists view its stunning volume as an attempt to intimidate.

With the summer marching season about to begin in earnest, however, the instrument has won fans across political divide thanks to a clip titled The Lambeg Boogie.

The cultural mashup merges the drum with the electric guitar, a touch of blues and Irish dancing, resulting in social media success and hopes it will foster reconciliation.

The song was composed by Willie Drennan, a Scottish folk musician from Ulster of County Antrim and frontman of the Willie Drennan Electric Band.

Willie Drennan with the Lambeg Drum in the clip. Photography: YouTube

He wrote it after a jam session in his backyard with David McClean, a blues and rock guitarist. They enlisted additional musicians and Larissa Fleck, of the Innova Irish Dancing Company, for a video that is a cross between garage rock, misty landscape and rogue Riverdance.

The lyrics are categorically apolitical: “Everybody shouts, shakes it all, Lambeg Boogie makes you feel good. “

The video has had tens of thousands of views on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms and positive mentions in the Belfast Telegraph and the BBC – a rare story of well-being amid tensions over the season of walk and the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“Brilliant fusion piece – love it – well done !!” tweeted Lord John Alderdice, a former leader of the Alliance party. “An excellent gesture of reconciliation,” tweeted Ciarán Ó Coigligh, Irish poet and scholar based in Dublin.

Drennan believes music can bring people together and has performed with the Lambegs at Irish music festivals and other events in the Republic of Ireland.

However, The Lambeg Boogie was envisioned simply as a mixture of traditional Scottish Ulster music with blues and rock, without political intent, Drennan said. He is delighted with the welcome.

“It’s refreshing to do something that transcends politics. We weren’t trying to make a statement… but the fact that we are is a bonus. “


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